JX Group consolidates MENA and Africa Operations

Japanese energy giant JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation (NOE), belonging to JX Group, one of the world’s largest integrated energy, resources and materials business groups, today reaffirmed its commitment to expand its operations in the Middle East and Africa.

With its presence in more than 70 countries, JX Group manages some of the largest oil and gas operations across the world, including exploration, import and refining of crude oil, manufacture and distribution of petroleum products, including fuels and lubricants and other energy-related activities.

The group reported a consolidated net income earnings amounting to 9,634 billion yen ($120bn) in 2010. In Japan alone, NOE operates a huge network of approximately 12,000 service stations operating under the brand “ENEOS” and leads the Japanese market for petroleum products (gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel and fuel oil) sales with a 37% market share.

Michio Ikeda, Senior Vice-President of JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, said that the expansion in the Middle East and Africa regions was in line with the group’s strategy to expand into promising international markets. In the Middle East, the group is handling oil and gas exploration and production businesses in Abu Dhabi and also in in Qatar recently.

Ikeda this week officially opened “JX Nippon Oil & Energy Middle East & Africa FZE”, NOE’s new corporate office in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, in the presence of senior officials from the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), Japanese consuls and senior JX Nippon Oil & Energy officials.

Outlining the expansion strategy, Ikeda said: “Our growth in high-growth international markets is imperative, considering that the world’s demand for energy is increasing exponentially, especially in Asia, and that international competition for acquiring rights for development of oil and gas resources is becoming increasingly intense.”

Ikeda added that NOE was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, during which two of its refineries – Sendai and Kashima – suffered severe damages.

“It is almost a year after disaster struck our operations but we have managed to bounce back by restarting our operations in June 2011 and we look forward to 100% operating capability by the end of this month,” he said.

The new corporate office in the UAE will be overseeing the group’s lubricants business in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and several countries in the CIS Region and will be headed by its Managing Director Tomohiko Kagawa.