In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the thermal power ration has increased to 90% of total electric power due to the long-term shutdown of nuclear plants. Currently LNG thermal power alone accounts for nearly 50% of domestic power generation. Accordingly Japan's LNG demand increased by 30% after 2011, and in addition, Japan's LNG import price, linked to crude oil import price, has soared because of the increase in oil prices. As a result, the overall fuel cost in Japan has increased. Lowering fuel import costs is an urgent mission for the Japanese Government. We briefly introduce Japan's strategy for securing natural resources with competitive prices through diversification in this paper.
ICEP was established in 1992 with the aim of contributing to the strategic and efficient promotion of oil and gas exploration and development projects by Japanese companies. ICEP's activities consist of (1) Information Services for member companies, (2) Research and Surveys, and (3) E&P Cooperation with Oil Producing Countries. E&P Cooperation with Oil Producing Countries will be described as follows. Recognizing that friendly relationships with oil producing countries are mutually beneficial in order to assist in ensuring overall stable and secure supplies of oil and natural gas to Japan, ICEP has been implementing E&P cooperation programs with oil producing countries since 1996. This program comprises of the following three types of projects; 1) Collaborative R&D Projects ICEP implements R&D projects jointly with oil producing countries utilizing personnel and the information/data services of Japanese oil E&P companies for technological cooperation in the field of oil development. These projects utilize advanced technology and processes available and focus on active companies and projects. 2) Research and Surveys Projects With the expectation from oil producing countries of Japanese economic, technological, and political cooperation, ICEP coordinates personnel and investigative projects with Japanese E&P organizations, providing information on oil producing countries. 3) Personnel Exchange Projects To facilitate the advancement of Japanese oil development companies and to strengthen relationships with oil producing countries, ICEP implements personnel and information exchanges such as dispatching missions to oil producing countries and holding seminars inviting principal persons of those countries. As the results of these projects, some Japanese companies successfully obtained working interests in exploration and production blocks in Surinam, India and Vietnam and etc..
Three research centers related to energy-related technologies within The University of Tokyo have been collaborating with The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi over a period of two years. By sharing their experience in collaboration research with foreign universities and exchanging students, these two universities understand each other's ongoing research topics and education policy, which will clarify some areas of possible collaboration and create new paradigm on collaborative research and education. Oil and gas industry is facing a skilled labor shortage. Throughout cheap oil era in 1980s and 1990s, oil and gas industry has continued to shrink its human resources. Accordingly, recruitment of new employees decreased, and fewer and fewer university students were entering petroleum engineering courses. On the other hand, the increasing demand of oil in countries like India and China, and nationalism over natural resources are leading to the rise in oil prices. As a result of reduction of easy access oil, projects demanding highly skilled engineers are rapidly increasing. The human resource development conducted under high-quality research and development projects is the key issue to create proactive innovators in the next generation. The two-year collaboration between two universities includes symposiums, closed workshops, lab tours, and oil field tours. To share the importance and perspective of the academic collaboration between the University in oil producing country and the Japanese University, this article introduces the discussion how the collaboration should be conducted between two universities.
As economic activities globalize, people pay much more attention to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of enterprises and expect companies to tackle various social and environmental issues in a responsible manner. As the resource competition intensifies, it is much more important to promote CSR activities rooted in the operation area, and establish strong relationship with oil-producing countries in order to secure stable and efficient supply of energy to Japan. In this paper, I will introduce the CSR related issues which global E&P industry faces while sharing our experiences of CSR activities in oil-producing countries, and discuss how to enhance relations with the oil-producing countries through CSR management.
Eight diatom zones are recognized for the uppermost Quaternary piston cores from the Joetsu Basin of the eastern margin of the Japan Sea recovered by a methane hydrate cruise, MD179. They are primarily based on the occurrences of a warm-water marker diatom Fragilariopsis doliolus and a cold-water one Thalassiosira hyperborea and secondarily on that of a new cold-water one Thalassionema umitakae n. sp., and represent major changes of surface water of the Japan Sea. In addition, very fluctuating occurrences of diatom-derived black grains, which might be a proxy of stagnant condition of the sea bottom, first observed in horizons mostly where dark thinly laminated layers are recognized. Because both the diatom zonal subdivision and the occurrence of black grains correlate very well to those of the marine isotope stages, MIS1 through MIS5e recognized by Ishihama et al. (2014) in the same cores examined, it is obvious that they reflect major paleoceanographic changes of the Japan Sea induced by global glacial and interglacial cycles over the last 130 ka. Thalassionema umitakae n. sp. is described in Appendix.
We analysed assemblages of diatoms and foraminifera in a late Quaternary sequence from the core MD179-3326G (core length; 5.53 m) recovered at the seabed 325 m depth, east of Kyuroku Island, eastern part of the Japan Sea. We recognized six foraminferal bio-zones which are comparable to those from two sediment cores at the upper slope (around 300 m depth) in the southwestern Japan Sea (off Tottori). The occurrence of Elphidium excavatum suggests that the “Oyashio” cold surface water would have flowed into the Japan Sea through the Tsugaru Strait during the early part of the last deglacial stage. The distribution of Verneuilinulla advena in the Japan Sea was restricted to the northern shallow to intermediate area, which is narrower than that of E. excavatum. Furthermore, the bottom environments of the intermediate part in the Japan Sea could have been different between the east (east of Kyuroku Island) and the northwest (off Tottori) during the early part of the last deglaciation.