Japan Petroleum Exploration (JAPEX) has commenced the exploratory drilling at offshore Hidaka area of Hokkaido.


Image: The sea drilling rig ENSCO 8504. Photo: courtesy of Ensco Rowan plc.

The work is a part of the offshore exploration project commissioned by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (ANRE).

The offshore exploration project is intended to assess  the  presence  of  crude  oil  and  natural  gas  in  the  designated  area. The sea drilling rig ENSCO 8504 from Ensco Rowan is being used for the drilling program.

ANRE  earlier selected  the  location  approximately  50km offshore  of  Hidaka  area  of  Hokkaido, with a depth of approximately 1,070m for exploration well.

The selection is based on the geophysical survey results provided by the Shigen three-dimensional seismic survey vessel, which is owned by ANRE.

The actual plan of exploratory drilling at the selected location was later prepared and developed by ANRE, in collaboration with JAPEX.

JAPEX said that the exploratory drilling and evaluation has been decided following completion of the preparation works including a preliminary seabed survey at the location carried out in October 2018.

In order to determine seafloor condition at the prospecting well location, JAPEX conducted site-survey in 2018.

The firm is palming to undertake the exploratory drilling until late July while the resulting data will be later utilized for analysis and evaluation purposes.

JAPEX said in a statement: “JAPEX will execute the works with safety as the first priority, along with getting continued understanding and cooperation by local community and local governments.”

Earlier this year, JAPEX announced that commercial production of natural gas has been started at Sirasun and Batur gas fields, which are part of the TSB gas complex in Kangean block in the Republic of Indonesia.

TSB gas complex is an offshore site, located 90km north of Bali Island with a water depth of 90 to 230m, and consists of the three gas fields, which are Terang, Sirasun, and Batur.

JAPEX said that it has been engaged in the development and production of natural gas in Kangean block located offshore East Java in Indonesia since 2007, through the operator of the block, Kangean Energy Indonesia.