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No significant news in 2024.


Jan 2023: Inpex spudded an appraisal well north of its onshore Minami-Nagaoka gas field in Niigata Prefecture. The plan is to drill to the production layer. It lies 4.5 kms north of the Koshijihara plant in Fukasawamachi, Nagaoka City. Drilling is planned to last until July.


May 2022: Inpex started delayed exploration drilling offshore Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures using the Hakuryu-5 semi-submersible rig from Japan Drilling Co. (JDC). Water depth is approximately 240m.

Jan 2022: Inpex plans to carry out exploration drilling between March and July 2022 offshore Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures through the Inpex San’in Offshore Development subsidiary. Water depths are around 240m . The project is eligible for equity financing from JOGMEC.


No significant news in 2021.


Jun 2020: Japan Petroleum Exploration (JAPEX) announced the production of heavy crude oil has commenced from the Takinoue Formation above the current producing reservoirs of the Yufutsu oil and gas field at Tomakomai City, Hokkaido. Oil in the shallow reservoir was confirmed by production testing in 2013. It is producing at around 1,200 bbls per day.


Aug 2019: Japex has completed its offshore exploration well in the Hidaka area in a water depth of 1,070m. It reports stable gas production and will consider further work.

Apr 2019: Japan Petroleum Exploration (JAPEX) has started oil and gas exploration drilling in the offshore Hidaka area of Hokkaido as part of a project commissioned by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (ANRE).


No significant news in 2018.


Jan 2017: Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into Japan dropped 2% in 2016. The country imported 83.34 mm tonnes of LNG in 2016. However, demand for LNG for power generation has risen in January due low winter temperatures.


Oct 2016: Inpex announced that gas has been discovered at an exploration well offshore the Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures. A thin gas reservoir in a shallow zone and some gas indications in deeper zones were recorded. Inpex will now analyse its results to decide on a future program..


Oct 2015: Inpex plans to drill a well in 2016 into the low permeability sand in the North Area of the Yabase oil field in Akita Prefecture. Oil and gas production was suspendedat the North Area over 40 years ago. Inpex hope to implement modern production enhancement techniques.

 Jul 2015: INPEX will drill an exploratory well for the Heisei 26/28 Domestic Offshore Drilling Program offshore Yamaguchi and Shimane prefectures in a water depth of 210m.

Jun 2015: INPEX announced it has discovered oil  at a depth of 3,900m after drilling in the Minami-Kuwayama oil field in Niigata Prefecture. The field has produced 1 mm bbls of oil since trial production began in 2004. INPEX expects  current production of 350 bbls per day to triple.


Sept 2014: INPEX announced it will upgrade facilities at its Koshijihara Plant in Niigata Prefecture to enhance the production rate of gas and condensate at the Minami-Nagaoka gas field, 10 kms SW of Nagaoka. The upgrade will extend field life by 20 years. It now produces 1.27 bcm of gas each year and 3,100 bbls of condensate per day.

Apr 2014: Japex has begun the country's first commercial production of shale oil in Akita prefecture in northern Japan. Production from shale below the Ayukawa oil and gas field is now 220 bbls per day and the company is also to begin drilling for shale oil in Fukumezawa oil field. Japex estimates it has 100 million bbls of recoverable shale oil in Akita prefecture.


Jul 2013: JAPEX has been undertaking R and D at its oil fields in Akita Prefecture on the potential for shale oil production. The company carried out acid treatment tests on the Onnagawa formation in a well in the Ayukawa field. A flow of oil was achieved.

Mar 2013: Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) extracted gas from offshore methane hydrate deposits hoping to achieve commercial production (unlikely in the short/medium term, if at all, since methane is diffuse in the hydrate reservoir). Since 2001 Japan has invested over US$100 mm in technology in the Nankai Trough. JOGMEC used depressurisation thought to be more effective than hot water circulation tested in 2002.

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