02 October 2014, News Wires – A high-powered consortium of 11 Japanese oil companies and contractors has come together to finance a medium-to-long-term offshore production test aimed at generating gas from methane hydrates.
The idea behind the collaboration is that each company will offer its technologies and knowledge to the project to eventually come up with a commercial development.
The 11 companies are Japan Petroleum Exploration (33%), Japan Drilling (18%), Inpex (13%), Idemitsu Oil & Gas (5%), JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (5%), Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering (5%), Chiyoda (5%), Toyo Engineering (5%), JGC (5%), Mitsui Oil Exploration (5%) and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (1%).
The largest shareholder, Japex, said it is “committed to utilising the technology, knowledge and experience it has accumulated through exploration and production of oil and natural gas operations to contribute for research and future commercialisation on Japan’s methane hydrates resources as a pioneer”.
There are reportedly substantial quantities of methane hydrates in offshore areas around Japan.
Japex has previously pointed to the offshore Atsumi and Shima peninsulas as areas of focus.
Japan Drilling said recently that an initial production test was done in 2012 on exploratory test wells in the Nankai Trough and in the Tokai Oki-Kumano Nada areas, and again in early 2013.
The latter test confirmed continuous offshore production of methane gas from a methane hydrates layer for days at an average gas production rate of 20,000 cubic metres per day.