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    JAPEX begins commercial shale oil production in Onnagawa formation

    Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd.

    Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. (JAPEX) has been preparing for Japan’s first demonstration experiment of tight formation multistage fracturing at the Onnagawa formation (shale oil formation), which is distributed in the Fukumezawa oil field (one of the Sarukawa oil fields in Oga City, located in Japan’s Akita Prefecture). JAPEX will begin horizontal well drilling in late May as part of this experiment.

    JAPEX has estimated that up to about 100 million barrels of shale oil – equivalent to about 8% of Japan's annual domestic oil demand – lie under Akita Prefecture.

    JAPEX is also starting full-scale commercial production of shale oil this April at the Onnagawa tight formation in the Ayukawa oil and gas field (in Yurihonjo City, also located in the Akita Prefecture), where it had been conducting a demonstration experiment (acid treatment tests) and several flow tests since 2012 by utilizing an existing well of Kurosawa AK-1.

    These drilling operations are scheduled for completion by late June. Data obtained from the pilot and horizontal wells will be analyzed in order to form a detailed plan of the fracturing operations. Based on this plan, Japan’s first multistage fracturing operations in a tight formation will be conducted at the above-mentioned horizontal section this November–December. The detailed plan of the fracturing operations will be reviewed anew by METI Tohoku.

    Depending on the results of this demonstration experiment, the amount of production of crude oil and natural gas that is currently being produced at Fukumezawa oil field is expected to highly increase. The results are also expected to contribute greatly to the acquisition of knowledge about the development of tight oil at the Onnagawa formation, which is distributed widely in the Akita Prefecture.

    For these operations, JAPEX is receiving support from Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC).

     

     

     

     

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