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9

Japan To Release 7.3m Barrrels To Ease Demand

Japan will put 7.3 million barrels of oil reserves on the market over the next 30 days beginning Wednesday to ease demand tensions

Japan will put 7.3 million barrels of oil reserves on the market over the next 30 days beginning Wednesday to ease demand tensions, the economy minister said Tuesday.

The allocated oil comes from reserves owned by about 80 private sector refiners, said Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa.

He said the move was in compliance with the action by the International Energy Agency to stabilize international oil market.

Japan will release more than 200,000 barrels a day in the form of either crude oil or petroleum products on the domestic market, Nakagawa said.

The private sector oil firms are currently required to keep minimum oil stockpiles able to meet demand for 70 days, but the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will lower the reserve levels to 67 days to increase supplies to the market, the minister said.

The IEA announced Friday its 26 members will release a total of2 million barrels from their strategic oil reserves per day for the initial period of 30 days, after the hurricane severely damaged oil production facilities along the Gulf Coast of the United States.