Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National (JOGMEC) and Inpex have started a joint study in a bid to develop shale gas in the Horn River, Liard and Cordova areas in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

The firms signed an agreement in March with Inpex Gas British Columbia (IGBC), a unit of Inpex, and CNOOC’s subsidiary Nexen Energy to jointly evaluate the rock samples extracted from shale reservoirs.

The partners are currently evaluating rock samples.

The data collected during the shale gas development and production operations within the areas is expected to help optimize the shale gas reservoirs development, the company said.

Inpex expects study to be completed in approximately one year. JOGMEC will finance the project through IGBC.

Nexen and IGBC will continue development and production operations for shale gas in the region.