Japanese Gas Giant Eyes Russian LNG

SINGAPORE — Osaka Gas Co, Japan's second-largest supplier of city gas, may step up imports of liquefied natural gas from Russia to feed rising demand, a top company official said Monday on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore.

Japan's requirement for the super-chilled fuel has skyrocketed after its Fukushima nuclear disaster, and it now accounts for one-third of global LNG cargoes, taking the bulk from Australia, Qatar and Malaysia. With demand continuing to rise and nuclear plants still down, companies are also looking at tapping new suppliers.

"Russia can be a very, very strong candidate" for securing more supplies, Osaka Gas President Hiroshi Ozaki, said in an interview at the Singapore International Energy Week.

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