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Japex Bets on U.S. Oil and Gas Despite Election Risk

Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) believes that the U.S. is currently the most attractive destination for oil and gas investments, regardless of the political risk with the presidential election later this year.  

“With its wealth of natural resources, low production costs, and well-developed infrastructure, we view the United States as the most enticing investment destination for E&P at present,” Japex’s senior managing executive officer, Michiro Yamashita, said at a press conference on Friday, as carried by Reuters.

“We are not thinking of slowing down the pace of our U.S. business,” said Yamashita, who will become Japex’s president effective April 1.

Japex has development projects in southern Texas in the Eagle Ford, according to the Japanese company’s website.

In May 2022, Japex said it would invest approximately $500 million from 2022 to 2024 to develop tight oil interests in the southern United States which have already been acquired and interests to be acquired later this year.

The most recent political risk for energy development in the United States came from the Biden Administration’s decision at the end of January to pause all pending decisions on U.S. LNG export projects until the Department of Energy can update the underlying analyses for authorizations.

Despite the fact that the pause in permitting has raised concerns in Japan – which is heavily reliant on LNG imports – this will not have any impact on Japex’s business or earnings, according to Yamashita.

Restarts of nuclear reactors, high gas inventories, and increased renewables power generation dragged Japan’s LNG imports in January to the lowest level for the month since 2009, vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg showed last week. Last month, Japan imported just 6 million tons of LNG, the lowest level for the month of January in 15 years, as demand for the super-chilled fuel has declined in recent years.  

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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