MITI panel advises changes in government oil policy

Apr 13, 1998 02:00 AM

In Japan, a panel of MITI officials has recommended that the government end its policy of emphasising stable oil supply and promote competition among oil refineries.
A Petroleum Council subcommittee proposed to end the need for government approval for oil refiners wishing to expand facilities or merge with other firms, and for companies seeking to begin oil refining operations.
The council also urged the government to relax regulations obliging firms to stockpile oil.
Other recommendations include scrapping a policy that forces refineries to set up facilities in Japan now that petroleum trade has been liberalised.
Since September 1997, the Petroleum Council has been conducting a sweeping review of the government's oil policy, ranging from oil refining and stockpiling to development, to revise the law governing petroleum operations by 2000. A final report on deregulation of the refinery business will be submitted in June.

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