RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia's state-run oil giant says it has agreed in principle with Japan to store 3.8 million barrels of oil in the Asian nation by the end of the year.
The deal, announced Tuesday by Saudi Aramco, reflects the growing importance Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil producers are placing on the Asian market.
China, India and Japan are seen as the key drivers in oil demand this year as consumption in traditional mainstay markets the United States and Europe remains weak in the wake of the global financial meltdown.
The oil would be stored on Okinawa.
Japan's economy and trade ministry said the project would help contribute to the country's energy security.
The ministry says Japan currently relies on Saudi Arabia for 28 percent of its oil supplies.
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