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Showa Shell Sekiyu to decide on Iranian oil after Japan-U.S. talks

Shell (Showa Shell) petrol station in Japan

(Mainichi Japan) February 15, 2012

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Major Japanese oil company Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. said Tuesday it will decide on whether to cut oil imports from Iran after seeing the outcome of bilateral talks between Japan and the United States.

Showa Shell Sekiyu is the largest Japanese importer of oil from Iran with 100,000 barrels per day.

In the face of a U.S.-led sanctions drive over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Jun Arai, president of the company, told a press conference, ‘We will closely follow the bilateral talks and respond after an announcement is made (on the outcome).”

JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., the second-largest Japanese importer of oil from Iran, is expected to curtail its imports from the country by 10 percent but will make a final decision after the bilateral talks.

Touching on his company’s electricity retail business, meanwhile, Arai said it recorded higher-than-expected revenue in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, indicating that the company is ready to expand the business.

Earnings results released Tuesday by Showa Shell Sekiyu, its group net profit in the business year through December rose 44.8 percent from a year earlier to 23.11 billion yen as cold weather pushed up demand for heating fuel. Sales climbed 18.1 percent to 2.77 trillion yen.


Comment by John Donovan

This news is unsurprising bearing in mind the sanctions busting track record of Royal Dutch Shell. What a shame that Sir John Jennings, a good friend to us, who is mentioned in the New World Encyclopedia extract below, retired from Shell. When he was Chairman of Shell Transport & Trading, Sir John demonstrated to us his support for Shell business principles despite the colorful advice of a then Shell Legal Director, Richard Wiseman (also now retired from Shell).

Like its business partner RDS, this joint venture company has a record of scandalous conduct:

From New World Encyclopedia article

In 1993 the company sustained losses of 165 billion yen (approx US$1.4 billion) from unauthorized forward currency transactions. The company’s treasury department, expecting the U.S. dollar to rise against the yen, bought forward dollars on futures markets at around 145 yen. Unfortunately, the dollar decreased to 120 yen in 1993, causing huge foreign exchange losses for the firm. The scandal prompted Shell to review its internal controls, especially in joint ventures, and resulted in the resignations of four top executives of Showa Shell Sekiyu and the firing of a fifth. John Jennings, then a Shell Group Managing Director, was quoted in the International Herald Tribune as saying that the unauthorized currency speculation was “a gross contravention of established rules and practices which was deliberately concealed.”

RELATED:  Shell Gains Despite Currency Fiasco International Herald Tribune, (February 26, 1993)

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