A liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank is seen at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Futtsu Thermal Power Station in Futtsu, east of Tokyo February 20, 2013. Japan's imports of LNG hit a monthly record of 8.23 million tonnes in January, on an increased need for fuel to generate electricity after the nuclear sector was hit by the Fukushima crisis, customs-cleared Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A heat wave in Japan last week and the scheduled shutdown of the country’s two operating nuclear reactors next month has the world's third-largest economy looking to Nigeria for spot cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to help boost the country's energy supply, Business Day reports Friday.

The state-owned Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation is to spend around $2 billion in the next few years to help Japanese companies increase their influence in Africa’s oil and gas sectors.

Spot cargoes are cargoes that are immediately available for loading and shipping.

Japan is the third-largest oil consumer in the world behind the U.S. and China and the third-largest net importer of crude oil. It is also the world’s largest importer of LNG, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

South Korea is also looking for spot LNG from Nigeria and is scheduled to receive as many as four spot cargoes from Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. in the next two weeks.