Japan asks Malaysia's Petronas to help customers after LNG disruption
TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Japanese industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Friday asked Petronas CEO Tengku Taufik to continue efforts to mitigate the impact on Japanese customers of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a disruption at Malaysia LNG.
Malaysia's Petronas said this month that it has declared force majeure on gas supply to one of its liquefaction terminals, Malaysia LNG Dua, due to a pipeline leak caused by soil movement at the Sabah-Sarawak pipeline on Sept. 21.
The disruption comes as Japan and many countries in Europe are scrambling to ensure gas supplies for the winter as they face the threat of an energy cut-off from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
"We understand that Petronas has already taken sincere responses, including providing alternative supplies," Nishimura told Taufik in their meeting at the ministry, as a group of reporters looked on.
"We would like to ask you to continue to make your utmost efforts to minimize the impact on Japan companies," he said.
Taufik said Petronas would continue its efforts to offset any impact on Japanese customers.
"I wish to assure all parties that Petronas is committed to work closely with the customers to mitigate and manage the present situation," Taufik said.
"As a long-term energy partner to Japan, we will strive to provide safe and reliable supply of LNG to Japan," he said.
Details of the disruption and the timing of the restoration are not clear. Major Japanese LNG buyers have played down the impact.
JERA, Japan's biggest LNG buyer, does not expect a major impact on its fuel procurement from the trouble, said Tetsuo Yoshida, JERA's general manager of financial management department.
Japan's biggest city gas supplier Tokyo Gas Co Ltd also does not expect its LNG procurement to be heavily affected by the disruption to Malaysia LNG supplies, its CFO, Hirofumi Sato, said on Thursday. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Susan Fenton, Robert Birsel)