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1. Operation of the Oil Information System

Stable supply of petroleum is among the high-priority security issues for Japan which is almost entirely dependent on imports for petroleum. In view of this, the Petroleum Council presented its recommendations in 1999 as follows:
“In order to be well prepared for taking appropriate measures in an emergency, it is critical to maintain a system for collecting necessary and adequate information in normal circumstances, so that an emergency situation is correctly understood in comparison with the normal situations.”
In response to the recommendations, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry entrusted JPEC with the development, operation and management of such a system in fiscal 2001. The Oil Information System started by JPEC collects and analyzes information in preparation for emergencies.

(1) Operation of the Oil Information System

Oil Information System Overview

In an emergency related to supply of petroleum, the national government has to avoid unnecessary disruptions in the national life and economy. For this purpose, the government should cooperate with IEA member countries in sharing information, analyze the outlook for oil supply, decide on emergency oil stock release, and curb oil demand. Data on oil supply and demand which are necessary for the government to take these measures have been accurately collected by the Oil Information System and are available for use at any time. The outline of the system is as follows:

1) Normal operation

  • Collection and analysis of data on the basis of statistical surveys on the current supply and demand of oil products (i.e. Fundamental Statistical surveys) and surveys on oil imports (i.e. General statistical surveys)
  • Collection of information related to oil supply and demand on a monthly basis

2) Emergency operation*

  • Weekly or daily collection of information

* Because hurricanes battering the southern United States caused massive damage to the oil production facilities along the Gulf Coast in September 2005, emergency operation of the Oil Information System continued for sixteen weeks for weekly collection of data on crude oil imports and petroleum product inventories.


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