The Agency of Natural Resources and Energy of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has selected Inpex to drill one exploratory well for the agency’s offshore drilling programme.

The ‘Heisei 26~28 Domestic Offshore Drilling Programme in Japan’ is aimed at determining the presence of hydrocarbon deposits in addition to conducting geological studies.

Inpex will start drilling the exploratory well in May 2016 in a location offshore Yamaguchi and Shimane prefectures.

As part of its domestic oil and natural gas exploration project, the Japanese Government conducted a geophysical survey from Shigen, the seismic survey vessel in these prefectures in 2011.

Drilling will continue until August 2016 at a location 140km north of Yamaguchi Prefecture and about 130km north-west of Shimane Prefecture, in water depths of 210m.

As part of its preparation plans, the company will conduct a site survey in August to map the subsea surface and observe currents at the location to be drilled.

Inpex said that the company’s decision to take up the project will be in line with its initiatives to improve its exploration and production activities.

The project is expected to contribute to the improvement in Japan’s energy self-sufficiency in case it leads to the production of oil and natural gas at a level that is commercially feasible.

Image: Project location map. Photo: courtesy of Inpex Corporation.