Monday, June 18, 2012 (PM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
- The development of oil and natural gas in the sea areas around Japan (a 3D geophysical survey vessel called "Shigen (Resources)")
REPORTER: According to some reports, the Government is moving to, or considering to, develop and test-drill an oilfield off the coast of Niigata Prefecture. Can you confirm the facts and discuss the outlook?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This is very much like a dream perhaps. The Government, in order to promote the development of oil and natural gas in the sea areas around Japan, acquired a 3D geophysical survey vessel in 2008 called "Shigen (Resources)." The areas around Japan have been surveyed in line with the Ocean Energy and Mineral Resource Development Plan established in March 2009, which is based on the approval of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy. Based on the survey findings so far, the area off the coast southwest of Sadogashima Island in Niigata Prefecture is assessed to be promising. As the 3D vessel conducts surveys from above, we have been coordinating with the local fishing industry to carry out test-drilling in this sea area. We have recently reached agreement to carry out test-drilling according to a three-month plan from April of next year. This test-drilling is the first test-drill to be conducted based on the survey findings of the survey vessel "Shigen," and we highly hope that it will lead to the discovery of a gas field and so on.
REPORTER: Regarding this, based on the detections of the 3D survey vessel, roughly speaking, what is the scale that you are anticipating at this point in time?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With reserves, I am told that generally estimates cannot be made unless test-drilling is conducted. Therefore, I understand that estimates will be made based on the findings of the test-drill.