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Japan on Monday secured the consent of the United Arab Emirates to extend oil rights for an offshore oilfield for 15 years beyond their expiration in 2026, Japanese officials said.
The agreement on the Upper Zakum Field, owned by one of the group companies of Inpex Corp., was reached during talks between Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The United Arab Emirates is the second-largest crude oil supplier to resource-scarce Japan, after Saudi Arabia. Of Japan's imports of oil produced at overseas fields in which Japanese companies have rights, 40 percent is produced off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
The extension of the oil rights through 2041 for one of the fields is significant for Japan as it will help the country supply energy to its economy in a stable manner, Motegi told a news conference after the meeting with the crown.
The agreement comes as Japan's demand for fossil fuels is increasing in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, which has resulted in the prolonged halt of almost all of the country's nuclear reactors.
None of the reactors in Japan are currently online and only those that have cleared a set of new safety requirements introduced in July will be allowed to resume operations.
Motegi also visited Abu Dhabi in February 2013 to push for the renewal of Japanese companies' offshore oil rights in the Middle Eastern country.
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