U.S. Navy says jet fuel order is from Korea to Japan

SEOUL (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. Navy said on Thursday it was looking to transport jet fuel from South Korea to Japan, rejecting reports by shipping and energy brokers that the shipment was for the other direction.

Jeff Davis, a U.S. Navy commander with the 7th Fleet, said the “this RFP (request for proposal) is to move fuel from Korea to Japan, not Japan to Korea.”

“Again, this is all routine and totally unrelated to any current events on the Korean peninsula,” he said in an email to Reuters.

“Also, it’s for 30,000 barrels, not 220,000 barrels as I had stated (on Wednesday).”

Shipbrokers had said the U.S. navy was looking to load in Okinawa, Japan and discharge in Ulsan, South Korea. They said this was rare, with such fuel movements usually going the other way.

They had said the Navy entered the freight spot market this week to charter an oil tanker to move at least 30,000 tons of jet fuel, used by the U.S. military to power everything from tanks to fighter planes, between the two Asian countries.

The United States is involved in joint military maneuvers with South Korea this week and with Japan next week. Both come less than 10 days after North Korea fired scores of artillery rounds into a South Korean island near the disputed northern maritime border.

The U.S. Navy is a regular buyer of jet fuel in Asia, typically asking for delivery to Japan or the Middle East, traders and shipbrokers said.

The USS George Washington aircraft carrier and a flotilla of other American warships completed a four-day exercise off South Korea on Wednesday, and were due to start a week-long exercise with Japan on Friday.

South Korean media has reported that Seoul and Washington are discussing holding another joint exercise later this month.

The U.S. Navy, which only trades with U.S. shipbrokers, has not chartered a spot cargo to ship jet fuel to South Korea for at least three years, according to Reuters Freight Views.

(Reporting by Jeremy Laurence; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

U.S. Navy says jet fuel order is from Korea to Japan