JAPEX kicks off drilling operations in Japanese waters

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. (JAPEX) has started the exploratory drilling at offshore Hidaka area of Hokkaido, Japan, using the Ensco 8504 drilling rig. 

Ensco 8504; Source: Ensco Rowan

The Japanese company announced on Tuesday that the exploration drilling activities had started the previous Saturday, April 13, 2019, 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 approximately 50 kilometers offshore of Hidaka area of Hokkaido with the depth of approximately 1,070 meters, which has been selected based on geophysical survey results obtained by 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 is expected to be carried out until late July, and the data obtained will be later utilized for analysis and evaluation purposes.

As previously reported, the Ensco 8504 semi-submersible drilling rig was hired by JAPEX for a one-well contract. Estimated duration of the contract is from April until July 2019. Bassoe estimates that the rig’s dayrate for this contract is $140,000.

In related news, offshore drilling companies Ensco and Rowan have recently completed the previously announced merger deal, creating a new company named Ensco Rowan. Ensco Rowan is now the world’s largest offshore drilling company by fleet size.

Map of the prospecting well location on the project. Source: JAPEX

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