Japanese consortium in large Caspian Sea project
A coalition of Japanese corporations will begin development of a major oil field in the southern part of Caspian Sea in collaboration with Japan National Oil Corp. Japan National Oil reached a basic agreement with the Azerbaijan government and is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding in February. The 7,400 sqkm development area is estimated to hold around 7 bnb of recoverable petroleum deposits. This will be the largest oil field development by Japanese entities. The consortium includes Itochu Corp,. Japan Energy Corp, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Indonesia Petroleum Ltd. and Teikoku Oil Co. After the memorandum is signed, Japan National Oil and the private-sector consortium will jointly establish a company to direct operations. Costs for the next three to five years -- the initial phase of exploration -- are expected to total around Y 20 bn ($ 170 mm). If the project proceeds on schedule, full-fledged petroleum output is expected to begin in 2007-2012.