Japan Petroleum Exploration (JAPEX) announced last week that it retrieved oil from a layer of shale 1,800 meters below the Ayukawa oil and gas field located in Northern Japan.
That was not your typical horizontal well completed with multi-stage fracking. It was simply an acid treatment test by pumping hydrochloric acid through an existing well into a shale rock layer (Onnagawa shale formation).
What’s the size of the prize? 100 million barrels in shale oil reserves. That’s nearly 8% of Japan’s annual oil consumption.
But it’s too early to tell if the shale play is commercial, the next well will be drilled in April 2013. It could take a few years before a similar industry to North America takes place. That’s assuming fracking is not blocked by environmentalist groups.
Have a Great Weekend!