INPEX CORPORATION (INPEX) announced that it  has commenced exploratory drilling operations (hereinafter the “Project”) offshore Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures in Japan to explore the possibility of locating oil and natural gas resources through INPEX San’in Offshore Development Co., Ltd., a subsidiary tasked with conducting exploration and development operations. This is sequel to the announcement made in January 17, 2022.

Since the early 2010s, INPEX has conducted geophysical exploration and evaluation activities in areas offshore Shimane and Fukuoka prefectures where the establishment of oil and gas fields is expected. Based on the results of these activities, INPEX conducted exploratory offshore drilling operations in 2016 as part of the “Heisei 26~28 Domestic Offshore Drilling Program” commissioned by the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

The results of these drilling operations as well as subsequent geophysical exploration and evaluation activities have raised expectations for the location of oil and natural gas resources offshore Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures, which has led to the planned implementation of the Project. If the Project leads to the commercial production of oil and natural gas, it is expected to contribute to the improvement of Japan’s energy self-sufficiency rate.

INPEX will prioritize safety throughout the execution of the Project while calling on the understanding and cooperation of the local communities. The company will also continue to work towards the effective and efficient utilization of domestic energy resources through new exploration and development operations in Japan.

On December 27, 2021, the Project was selected as eligible to receive equity financing from the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).

About the Project


Approximately 150 kilometers offshore north of Yamaguchi Prefecture, approximately 130 kilometers offshore northwest of Shimane Prefecture; water depth approximately 240 meters. Period March to July 2022 (planned) INPEX CORPORATION is Japan’s largest exploration and production (E&P) company, and is currently involved in projects across multiple continents, including the Ichthys LNG Project in Australia as Operator. Through building a cleaner upstream business and advancing hydrogen and renewables solutions, INPEX aims to become a leading energy company and continue providing a stable and efficient supply of energy to its customers while pioneering energy transformation towards a net zero carbon society by 2050.


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