JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration has agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Tokyo-based offshore driller Japan Drilling Company (JDC) from funds related to the Aspirant Group.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed by the companies.

Upon the closing of the transaction, JDC will become JX Nippon’s consolidated subsidiary.

JX Nippon, a subsidiary of Eneos Holdings, will continue to work as a partner with JDC to increase the latter’s corporate value and accelerate growth. Eneos Group aims to achieve carbon neutrality for its operations by 2040.

JX Nippon expects the acquisition of JDC to further strengthen its competitiveness in the oil and natural gas development business.

In a press statement, JX Nippon said: “Drilling wells to inject and store CO₂ underground is an important technological component of the carbon capture and storage/carbon capture, usage and storage (CCS/CCUS) value chain, and JDC’s participation will further reinforce the CCS/CCUS value chain offered by the Eneos Group and enhance its set-up and capabilities to help Japan achieve its carbon neutrality plan.”

Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is scheduled to be complete by the end of April 2023.

JDC is the said to be Japan’s only company engaged in the offshore drilling business.

In January 2023, JX Nippon, Eneos Group, and Electric Power Development (J-Power) have agreed to form a joint venture (JV) to accelerate the commercialisation of domestic CCS.

The JV, called West Japan Carbon Dioxide Storage Survey Co., is undertaking a feasibility study for large-scale CCS in Japan.