Japan’s oil and gas company INPEX has invested in Japan Methane Hydrate Operating Co., Ltd., a joint venture company established on October 1, 2014 aiming to participate in the offshore production test of methane hydrate conducted by the Japanese government.
“INPEX is committed to utilizing the technology, knowledge and experience it has accumulated through its oil and natural gas upstream business operations to contribute to research on Japan’s methane hydrate resources.”
A substantial quantity of methane hydrate is estimated in the offshore areas around Japan. Serving as a new domestic energy source, with the potential to make a major contribution to a stable national energy supply for Japan, technological development is expected for its commercialization including establishment of production technologies.
At the end of the fiscal year 2012, the Japanese Government carried out the first offshore production test and succeeded in the world’s first production of gas from methane hydrate under the seabed. At the end of 2013, the Japanese
government announced the latest version of the “Plan for the Development of Marine Energy and Mineral Resources”, in which the Medium to Long-term Offshore Production Test is planned.
JMH has been formed with agreement and capital participation of 11 companies engaging in oil and natural gas development and in plant engineering. According to a statement by Japan Methane Hydrate Operating Co, the company aims to provide contract services efficiently, effectively and smoothly on field operations in the offshore production test of pore-filling type methane hydrate in “all-Japan” structure, and to share its findings among private-sector in Japan.
Optimizing this structure, participating companies will proactively offer their technologies and knowledge to the Japan’s research and development of pore-filling type methane hydrate toward its commercialization, the company said in a statement.
Shareholders (11 companies):
Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. (JAPEX) 33%
Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (JDC) 18%
INPEX CORPORATION (INPEX) 13%
Idemitsu Oil & Gas Co., Ltd. 5%
JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation 5%
NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN ENGINEERING CO., LTD. (NSENGI) 5%
Chiyoda Corporation (Chiyoda) 5%
Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo) 5%
JGC CORPORATION 5%
Mitsui Oil Exploration Co.,Ltd. (MOECO) 5%
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. (MGC)