07 Jun 2024

Inpex to Start Exploratory Drilling for Geothermal in Shibetsu, Hokkaido, Japan

07 Jun 2024  by thinkgeoenergy   

Mount Musadake viewed from Kaiyodai Observatory, Nakashibetsu, Hokkaido, Japan (source: Koda6029, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
INPEX Corporation (INPEX) has announced a geothermal exploration drilling campaign in the town of Shibetsu in Hokkaido, Japan. The project site is located in the Sempo area in the western part of Shibetsu, northwest of Mount Musa-dake. Drilling is expected to commence by 2027.

INPEX had already carried out extensive surveys for the geothermal potential in the region following the “Selection of Operators for the Musadake Region Geothermal Survey.” Surface and geophysical surveys, as well as prior drilling operations, had indicated the presence of geothermal resources in the Sempo site.

Location map of INPEX geothermal projects and operating geothermal power plants in Hokkaido, Japan (source: INPEX)

Geothermal development is part of the renewable energy initiatives INPEX, in line with the company’s “INPEX Vision @ 2022.” INPEX (along with Idemitsu Kosan and MOECO) had also conducted geothermal surveys and drilling in the Amemasudake geothermal site, also in Hokkaido, and has acquired stake in geothermal projects in Indonesia.

The Hokkaido Prefecture has been a particularly active region for geothermal development in Japan in recent years. Earlier this year, two geothermal power plants came online in Hokkaido – the 2-MW MORI binary geothermal power plant, and the 6.5-MW Minami-Kayaba geothermal power plant. Meanwhile, Chevron and MOECO will be testing the deployment of Advanced Closed Loop (ACL) geothermal technologies in the Niseko Region.


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