Japan plans to keep stake in Sakhalin-1 oil, gas project

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
An aerial view shows the Yastreb (Hawk) land rig at Sakhalin-1’s Chaivo field, some 1,000 km (621 miles) north of Yuzhno Sakhalinsk October 10, 2006.

The government said Tuesday that Japan would continue its involvement in the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project off the coast of Sakhalin in the Russian Far East under a new company established by Russia last month.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a regular press briefing Tuesday that Sakhalin-1 is “a valuable procurement point outside the Middle East, and an important project for economic security.”

The Sakhalin-1 project had been 30% owned by Sakhalin Oil and Gas Development Co., a group of entities that includes Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and firms such as Itochu Corp. and Marubeni Corp.

Japan imports crude oil from the Sakhalin-1 field, which provided about 1% of Japan’s crude oil imports in 2021. Japan has not imported Russian crude since June due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., which also had a 30% stake, announced its withdraw from the project in October.

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree transferring rights for Sakhalin-1 to a new company that was established on Oct. 14 by the Russian government.