Japan and Europe have been working hard to achieve a measure of energy independence for a long time, ever since they had the opportunity.
Japan has had long-standing relations with Iranian oil production, and got a multi-billion dollar contract for opening a new field a year or two ago. China is seeking to do so all over, including the Western hemisphere, and India too. I’m sure the US doesn’t like it. Nor does it like the idea that Northeast Asia, the most dynamic part of the world economy, could be energy-rich if it manages to incorporate Siberian resources. These concerns surely like in the immediate background of the invasion of Iraq, the last known part of the world where there are vast unexplored and untapped oil reserves, also very easily accessible: no permafrost, tar sand, deep sea drilling, etc. Just to mention the obvious, the US takeover of Iraq blocked Russian and French projects, and unless the US invasion really goes bust, it’s very likely to end up with the US and its clients having the inside track. The jockeying about Central Asia, where pipelines go, etc., is all part of the same concerns.
Worth mentioning that it’s always been not so much a matter of access as control.