He took a 3 month tour across the entire country, including a visit to a gas company in Seattle
At the time, only refiners could import oil (which meant Tokyo Gas was forced to buy oil at prices decided by refiners)
Anzai lobbied government officials and got the regulations changed
But his dream was to import and supply customers with actual natural gas — not some other gasified fossil fuel
This was the holy grail
Natural gas, on the other hand, was mostly shipped via landlocked pipelines
Anzai’s colleagues joked that his dream of importing gas into Japan seemed like something out of a Sci-Fi novel
>> When liquefied, there is a 600-to-1 reduction in volume (you can carry lots of gas in one ship)
>> It was cleaner than the other fossil fuel alternatives (you clean up smoggy skies)
He eyed developing ships ~3x larger than what England was using in the 1960s
Specifically, Union Oil and Marathon Oil/Phillips Petroleum. He was playing them off each other so he could get the best deal.
At this point, Anzai was good friends with many government officials. He became known as “Mr. LNG” and was often invited to sit on ministerial energy policy discussions
(Unfortunately no mention of Anzai ☹️)
Anzai signed supply contracts with Brunei (1970s) and Malaysia (1980s). He kept busy.
He even proposed a Japan-USSR-US LNG trilateral supply deal in the middle of the Cold War. Attached is a NYT article from 1972 (!)
(Anyway, this is a different tweet storm for another day)