Friday, June 24, 2016

Japan: Exploration Drilling to Begin at Fukushima Geothermal Project

Idemitsu to Begin Drilling Survey for Fukushima Geothermal Plan (Bloomberg)

Idemitsu Kosan Co., a Japanese refiner, is set to begin drilling surveys for a geothermal project in Fukushima with 10 other Japanese companies, highlighting efforts to promote clean energy in the prefecture after an earthquake in 2011 triggered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. 

Two survey wells will be drilled as deep as 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) at the Bandai-Asahi national park 230 kilometers north of Tokyo later this year, said Hisashi Jotaki, who heads the geothermal section at Idemitsu. Surface surveys began in 2013 to identify areas suitable for drilling.

The partners -- including Inpex Corp. and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. -- will decide by March 2018 whether to move on to drilling wells for use in actual power generation. That would depend on the results of the current survey, said Jotaki, a 36-year-veteran in geothermal development.