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JAPEX, JDC and INPEX jointly support JOGMEC’s medium and long-term offshore production test of methane hydrate

23 June 2014

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. (JAPEX), Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (JDC) and INPEX Corporation (INPEX) have concluded a contract to support Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation’s (JOGMEC’s) medium and long-term offshore production test of methane hydrate. (Earlier post.)

The contract, which runs through 31 October, includes support for the formulation of the basic policy (draft); technical studies necessary for the formulation of the basic plan for the test; and collection of technical information.

The three companies will provide the technologies and know-how they have cultivated through the exploration and development of oil and natural gas for Japan’s research concerning methane hydrate.

As part of the Japan’s Methane Hydrates R&D Program, which has been underway since 2001 under its leadership, METI conducted a production test using the hot water circulation method in FY2001 and tests using the depressurization method in FY2006-2007 in an onshore area of the Canadian Arctic, confirming production of methane gas from a methane hydrate layer for the first time in the world. (Earlier post.)

In FY 1999 and 2003, exploratory test wells were conducted in the offshore Nankai trough and in the Tokai Oki-Kumano Nada area respectively. It assessed the deposition of the methane hydrate and the volume of the original methane gas in the eastern Nankai Trough area.

In that area, advanced drilling for the world’s first offshore production test of methane hydrate was conducted in February through March of 2012 and a gas production test using the depressurization method in January through March of 2013, confirming continuous offshore production of methane gas from a methane hydrate layer for the first time (production continued for approximately six days; average gas production volume: around 20,000 m3/day; cumulative gas production volume: around 120,000 m3). (Earlier post.)

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