Japan, EU ink cooperation pact to remove LNG resale restrictions

Japan and the European Union exchanged a memorandum of understanding Tuesday on their cooperation to remove terms that restrict the resale of liquefied natural gas from LNG import contracts.

The cooperation deal, also aimed at making the LNG market transparent, was signed in Brussels by Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko and European Commissioner for Energy Miguel Arias Canete.

Japan is the largest importer of LNG in the world, but is not allowed to resell it under contracts with exporters such as Middle Eastern nations even if it anticipates a future surplus of LNG stock.

By teaming up with the EU, which is looking to diversify energy sources and is keenly interested in LNG, Japan intends to strengthen the position of buyers so contract conditions that favor sellers can be corrected, people familiar with the matter said.

In addition, Tokyo and Brussels will also exchange information on new suppliers and market deregulation, according to the memorandum.

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