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Japan has signed a nuclear cooperation and technology transfer agreement with the United Arab Emirates in return for a renewal of deal set to expire in 2018 which gives the Japanese Oil Development Co. a 12% share in Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company oil and gas concession.
Earlier in the year Japan also offered to provide Saudi Arabia with its nuclear expertise in exchange for long term oil supply contracts. Saudi Arabia is very interested in developing its own nuclear energy sector in order to reduce domestic oil consumption and free up more crude for export. The country plans to install 17 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity during the next two decades, and Japan’s help would prove invaluable.
Related article: Ghana to build black Africa’s first Nuclear Power Plant?
Japan has become desperately reliant on oil and gas imports since it closed down its nuclear energy industry following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, and since reducing imports from Iran by 40% due to the US and UN sanctions, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have its two biggest suppliers.
Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, explained that “we have reduced imports over five years by 40 percent from Iran because of US sanctions. More than 80 percent of our oil imports are from the Middle East, that's why we can reduce Iran oil and increase our partnership with UAE, Saudi Arabia.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com