Japan Said to Plan Deal With U.S. to Aid American LNG Sales

Japan plans to sign an agreement to promote American liquefied natural gas exports during U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s visit to Tokyo, which started this week, according to people familiar with the plans.

The agreement covers Japan developing markets in Asia to sell LNG sourced from the U.S., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Japan is seeking to develop new outlets for gas consumption in Asia as the world’s biggest importer of LNG is seen oversupplied after committing to numerous export projects, including in the U.S. Companies including Japan’s Jera Co. have also signed deals to resell the super-chilled fuel amid demand uncertainty at home.

“The Secretary looks forward to having a productive dialogue with Japanese officials about a multitude of issues, including the potential for increased LNG exports from the United States to Asia,” Shaylyn Hynes, an energy department spokeswoman, said in an emailed response to questions. While in Tokyo, Perry will announce the approval of a U.S. project’s application to export LNG, she said.

An official at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry declined to comment. The U.S. signed a deal with China last month to encourage that country’s investments and purchases of American gas.

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