The restart of the two nuclear power reactors in the northeast of Osaka could greatly reduce Japan's consumption of crude oil by 60,000 barrels daily.
Oil prices fall on expectations that latest weekly EIA data will show higher inventories, but concerns over Europe is keeping the price from further slides.
Kansai Electric Power Co. is the owner of the two reactors at Ohi plant, wherein both are expected to be fully operational this month. It supplies energy to Japan's second-biggest metropolitan area.
"Theoretically, the restart of the two reactors at Ohi plant would reduce Kansai Electric Power Co.'s crude-oil requirement roughly by 60,000 barrels a day," Osamu Fujisawa, an independent oil economist in Tokyo, told Reuters News.
In May, Kansai Electric Power Co. consumed 103,000 barrels a day or 510,000 kiloliters of crude. It likewise spent up 20,000 kiloliters of fuel oil, 590,000 metric tonnes of liquefied natural gas and 400,000 tons of coal in the same month.
Kansai Electric Power Co. reignited electricity generation at its No. 3 reactor at the Ohi plant on Thursday, where it is expected to become fully operational by July 9. The No. 4 unit will begin power generation as early as July 21 after a restart calendared between July 18 and July 20.
The restart of Kansai Electric Power Co.'s nuclear power reactors concludes a two-month period when Japan shutdown all its more than 50 reactors for safety checks following the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.
According to the Federation of Electric Power Companies, Japan's utilities' use of crude jumped 148 per cent to 1.19 million kiloliters in May from a year ago.
"Crude oil accounts for 90 percent of our oil consumption for electricity generation," Takahiro Senoh, a company spokesman from Kansai Electric Power Co., said. "The restart of the two reactors will reduce the company's fuel consumption. Logically speaking, the reduction will be on the most expensive crude oil."
Should Japan postpone restarting other nuclear power reactors after that of Kansai Electric Power Co.'s, a group of five researchers at the Institute of Energy Economics, a government affiliated think-tank, said the country's imports of LNG may balloon 6.5 per cent to 88.6 million tonnes in the fiscal year ending March 2013.
Sales of fuel-oil to power utilities in the same period may likewise jump 43 per cent to 367,000 barrels a day or 21.3 million kiloliters.
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