Japanese oil and gas company INPEX has hired the HAKURYU-5 semi-submersible drilling rig for operations in Japan.
The Mitsubishi MD 501 propulsion-assisted semi-submersible drilling rig will be deployed offshore San-in, Japan. JDC did not share any details on the agreed day rate.
Japan Drilling Co. (JDC), the owner of the offshore drilling rig, said the contract was for the March-July 2022 period.
This corresponds to the drilling program announced by INPEX last week, when the company said it would carry out an exploration drilling program off western Japan from March to July in the hope of finding natural gas.
The project, off the Yamaguchi and Shimane prefectures, if successful, is expected to help improve the country's energy self-sufficiency rate, Inpex said last Monday.
According to Reuters, this will be the first offshore exploration in Japan since a gas project, off Niigata prefecture in central Japan, operated by Japan Petroleum Exploration, started production in 1990.
For Inpex, it will be the first offshore gas exploration in Japan since a project off the coast of Fukushima prefecture in northern Japan produced gas between 1984 and 2007, a company spokesperson told Reuters last week.