Japan will perform test-drills in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) next year after discovering a possibly “large-scale” oilfield.
The Energy Agency found data indicating that a 135 square kilometres area, at some 2.7 kilometres below the sea floor, may contain oil and natural gas, according to press reports.
The area is at about 30 kilometres southwest of Sadogashima island. “In terms of area, it can match a large-scale oilfield overseas,” an official of the Energy Agency said, quoted by the Yomiuri Shimbun.
The authorities will invest about Y9.8 billion ($124 million) in the test-drilling that will be operated by Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, a government-backed organisation. The first test-drills could begin next April, with the project expected to take about three years.
Utilities in Japan will increase oil consumption by 300,000 barrels a day during this year, compared to the period before the March 2011 natural disasters which triggered a nuclear crisis, if Japan does not restore its nuclear reactors.
The information was given by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which added that Japan’s utilities will also need an additional 23 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas every day.