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AsianOil: Japan considers steps to conserve gas supplies

Japan is considering steps to conserve natural gas supplies amid fears of a potential disruption. This week it emerged that Tokyo may ask households and businesses to cut back on gas usage when supply is tight.
This comes after Moscow ordered the transfer of ownership in the Sakhalin-2 oil and LNG project to a newly established Russian company and warned Japanese firms Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi, which own stakes in the project, that they could lose their access to it.
This week the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) called for a discussion on creating a framework that would allow the government to ask households and businesses to conserve gas when necessary. According to a document released on July 11, the government believes that despite long-term LNG contracts helping Japan to secure stable supply, rising competition means conservation measures will be necessary if energy procurement is disrupted.
The document said the government would first ask households and businesses to cut back on gas usage to the best of their abilities. If this proves insufficient to avoid supply shortages, then stricter targets could be brought in.
Tokyo is already asking Japan’s population to play a part in power conservation as electricity supply is also expected to be tight over the coming months.