Japan Petroleum Exploration (JAPEX) has started exploratory drilling at offshore Hidaka area of Hokkaido on April 13, as part of the offshore exploration project commissioned by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (ANRE).
This project is aiming to evaluate the presence of oil and natural gas resources in the area based on the analysis to be conducted through the result from this exploration well. The location of the exploration well is approx. 50 kms offshore of Hidaka area of Hokkaido with the depth of approx. 1,070 meters, which has been selected based on geophysical survey results obtained through a seismic vessel 'SHIGEN' owned by ANRE. This exploratory drilling and evaluation has been decided upon completion of the preparation works including a preliminary seabed survey at the location conducted in October 2018.
The operation of exploratory drilling is expected to be carried out until late July, and the data obtained through the operations will be later utilized for analysis and evaluation purposes.
JAPEX will execute the works with safety as the first priority, along with getting continued understanding and cooperation by local community and local governments.
Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands.