23 May 2007 - 11:08
  • News Code: 105392

LOS ANGELES -- Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (Japex) plans to increase its budget for overseas oil and gas exploration to ¥7.3 billion in fiscal 2007, raising expenditure to a total of ¥15.3 billion with the inclusion of domestic exploration.

Japex will invest most of the additional funds, about ¥4 billion, in Libya, where its subsidiary Japex Libya Co. Ltd. acquired rights in 2005 to explore offshore Blocks 3 and 4 in Area 40 of the Mediterranean and onshore Block 4 in Area 176 of the Murzuq region.

 

Japex Libya (operator) holds a 42% stake in Blocks 3 and 4, while Nippon Oil Exploration Ltd. holds 38%, and Mitsubishi Corp. holds 20%. Japex Libya holds a 100% stake in Block 4.

 

Japex will spend another ¥1.9 billion in an oil sands project in the Athabasca region of Alberta, where it plans full-scale exploration of undeveloped tracts.

 

Through its subsidiary Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. (Jacos), Japex last year raised oil output from its Canadian oil sands project to 10,000 b/d from 8,000-9,000 b/d.

 

The firm will spend a further ¥1.1 billion on test wells in the Philippines where Japex Philippines Ltd. is conducting exploration work as the operator of offshore Block SC46 between Negros and Cebu islands.

 

Based on results of seismic surveys conducted in 2005, Japex Philippines will drill one exploration well in the fourth quarter. Japex Philippines holds a 65% interest in the block, while Kuwait"s Kufpec holds 35%.

 

Some ¥200 million is being allocated for basic survey work on Buton Block in Indonesia, which covers 3,406.91 sq km in southern Buton Island, southeast Sulawesi, both on and offshore.

 

Japex was awarded the Buton block in December 2006, and its locally owned Japex Buton Ltd. is operator with a 40% interest, while Premier Oil PLC and Kufpec hold 30% each.

 

In Japan, Japex this year conducted seismic surveys in areas surrounding Yufutsu oil and gas field and the central-south area of Hokkaido.

 

Japex said it produced "new" crude oil with the Numanohata (T1) East SK-1D exploration well drilled east of Yufutsu field. It also drilled one production well to maintain and increase Yufutsu production capacity.

 

To support future exploration in the Hokkaido and Sanriku Coast area, Japex said it will continue to acquire geological data to identify structures expected to yield large reserves, and to drill exploratory wells.

 

PIN/OGJ.COM

News Code 105392

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