Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex), through its subsidiary Japex (US) (JUS), plans to invest approximately $500m to develop tight oil interests in the southern US.

Planned over a three-year period from 2022 to 2024, the investments will be made in the tight oil assets that have already been acquired, and those to be acquired later in 2022.

Production from the tight oil assets is planned to start from the middle of this year, the firm said.

In 2012, JUS entered the US tight oil development business through the acquisition of development stakes in the Eagle Ford formation in Middle McCowen, southern Texas.

The company also purchased additional interests in the same formation in 2013, in addition to investing in the developments in the acquired interests.

In a press statement, JAPEX said: “During this time period, Japex has accumulated the knowledge of the tight oil development business.”

Earlier this year, JUS purchased certain wellbore interests in tight oil development projects in the Eagle Ford formation.

The firm also finalised a deal to acquire additional wellbore interests in the development of the Eagle Ford formation and the Woodford formation, in southern Oklahoma.

Under the “Japex Management Plan 2022-2030”, formulated in March 2022, Japex intends to invest in the acquisition of new overseas oil and gas interests.

As part of the strategy, the North American shale (tight) formation development is the firm’s key focus area to acquire new positions.

In 2020, Japex started heavy crude oil production from the Takinoue Formation of the Yufutsu field in the Hokkaido island, in Japan.