January 16, 2013 / 3:30 PM / in 5 years

Japex adds to Eagle Ford shale oil assets

TOKYO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Japan Petroleum Exploration Co has acquired additional stakes in the Eagle Ford shale field in Texas, one of the hottest in North America as much of its output is oil rather than gas, which has slumped in price.

Japex said the acquisition of two additional stakes in cooperation with Marathon Oil Corp totalling 840 acres would be adjacent to an existing lease of 27,000 acres.

Marathon Oil is the operator of the existing lease with a 95 percent stake, and the rest is held by Japex. The additional acres will be developed with Marathon Oil.

Japex expects that the technology and know-how gained from the project will be helpful in a demonstration experiment for tapping tight oil in northern Japan.

It estimates several million barrels of shale oil are contained in the Ayukawa oil and gas field in northern Japan. The company hopws that about 100 million barrels of shale oil, equivalent to about 8 percent of Japan’s annual domestic oil demand, lie under Akita prefecture.

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