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Japan Is Aggressively Buying Up Oil And Gas Around The World


This coming year could be a surprisingly exciting time for oil and gas developers.

Yes, energy prices are depressed right now. But not everyone sees that as a negative. In fact, private equity funds are still raising record amounts of capital for energy investments — with managers and investors alike seeing the current downturn as a prime time to pick up good assets for cheap.

Most of that PE money is earmarked for U.S. shale. But this week’s announcements from Indonesia state oil firm Pertamina, and Japanese government arm Jogmec, show that the spending spree may now be extending to global oil and gas assets.

Pertamina had $700 million this year for acquisitions — and will likely have billions for the coming year. Jogmec is even more flush with cash — having arranged financial backing totaling $5.2 billion yearly for oil and gas M&A.

That’s a lot of cash now hunting for projects. So the question is — where in the world might these big players be looking?

Obviously, both firms are headquartered in Asia. Suggesting that this region would be a logical place to look for buyouts. But recent events show the focus here is likely to extend well beyond just Asian projects. Pertamina, for example, was decidedly Africa-minded this past year. Buying into projects in Gabon and Mozambique.

Jogmec also favored Africa — providing financial support for Japanese firms working in onshore Kenya. And stepping out even further by getting into frontier exploration in Greenland.

In fact, as the map below shows, Jogmec has a worldwide scope for oil and gas projects. Covering six continents where the company has supported projects through equity capital participation or financial guarantees.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: Jogmec Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities report

That suggests Jogmec’s billions could theoretically be deployed almost anywhere in the world. Although a closer look at the company’s recent activities provides some deeper clues on where exactly it might be considering.

A little-known fact about Jogmec is that it also provides government-to-government support for petroleum activity. Including helping foreign governments conduct geophysical surveys over prospective areas in the onshore and offshore.

By footing the bill for seismic work globally, Jogmec actually gets a “sneak peak” at data all over the world. Which it uses to identify project opportunities that it later invests in.

And here’s the map showing everywhere that Jogmec (and its predecessor company JNOC) has been surveying.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: Jogmec Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities report

Now, here’s a critical point. The higher the number on the projects above, the more recently they’ve been conducted. Which gives us some clues about where Jogmec has been focusing on over the past few years.

Latin America is one spot that jumps out. With Jogmec having executed four geophysical projects in Mexico, as well as one in Colombia.

Another surprising spot is southern Russia. Where Jogmec has been doing not just geophysics, but also exploratory drilling.

Eastern Africa has also held some interest for the company. Like Pertamina, it’s been involved in Mozambique — and has also been assisting the government of the tiny island nation of the Seychelles.

One final place that jumps out is Southeast Asia. Where Jogmec has recently been working on offshore exploration in both Vietnam and Malaysia.

Obviously, the firm could look anywhere going forward. But this past work provides some strong indications on which areas will be first targeted — a point that should be of note for project developers in any of these parts of the world. Jogmec also doesn’t discriminate in terms of exploration or development projects — being heavily involved in both stages.

With billions to spend and a hunger to secure supply, this firm could become a valuable partner for numerous projects around the world.

Here’s to the right backing,

By Dave Forest

5 Comments on "Japan Is Aggressively Buying Up Oil And Gas Around The World"

  1. Hubert on Fri, 25th Nov 2016 6:16 am 


  2. rockman on Fri, 25th Nov 2016 8:42 am 

    As pointed out long ago the largest transfer fossil fuel wealth transfer (both domestin snd internaltional) has been going on for a long time. And Pertamina: it was heavy into acquisitions/JV’S long before the oil price crash. They stated years ago that despite being an oil exporter they recognized the eventual decline of reserves. And given its govt’s dependence on fossil fuel sales income it was critical to acquire interests wherever possible.

    And Japan is a NEW player??? The Rockman interfaced with a Japanese geologist in the ofshore GOM 40 years ago. Japan has been a common working interest partner in projects around the world for decades. When one reads that Company X is drilling a well or acquiring a producing field usually there are minority partners that aren’t mentioned.

    The story is actually rather old but at least they are starting to catch up. They may even get their head out of their ass and report that ExxonMobil is currently acquiring producing oil reserves at a much lower price then it’s been able to by drilling for most of the last decade. LOL.

  3. Bob Inget on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 12:37 pm 

    “`On February 14th of 1942, a battalion of Japanese paratroopers landed in Indonesia and seized two oil refineries, Shell and Standard. Soon, the Japanese reached the rich oil mines Balikpapan in Borneo. As a result, by May 1942 the Japanese finally achieved what Hitler failed to achieve in Europe – provided fuel for Japan’s full independence. Now it was able to receive 18 million barrels of oil a year, which was enough for everything. However, the Americans soon hit back.
    – See more at:

  4. Cloggie on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 5:35 pm 

    Soon, the Japanese reached the rich oil mines Balikpapan in Borneo. As a result, by May 1942 the Japanese finally achieved what Hitler failed to achieve in Europe – provided fuel for Japan’s full independence. Now it was able to receive 18 million barrels of oil a year, which was enough for everything. However, the Americans soon hit back.

    Bob, first my condolences with the death of Fidel Castro today, which must have been a grave loss for you.

    Regarding the quote: it represents the usual US media BS.

    The truth about Pearl Harbor:

    An American scholar at the Dutch university of Groningen figured this out:

    An extremely rich source of information to understand power relations over the past 2000 years.

    1941 global GDP distribution:

    US…… 29%

    Now why on earth would a country A attack a country B when B has a 5 times larger economy? Answer: desperation.

    When Japan joined the Axis on September 27, 1940, both Japan and Germany could not anticipate that this act would prove to be fatal for either.

    10 days later on October 7, Roosevelt was alerted by his adviser McCollum that this even represented the ideal opportunity to maneuver the US into the desired war with Germany… via the Japanese backdoor:

    How? Japan was for 100% dependent on US oil deliveries, that’s how. The US decided to impose an oil boycott against Japan, combined with impossible demands, namely that Japan should give up its entire empire. On top of that, Roosevelt send his fleet to Pearl Harbor, sweet and vulnerable. The American population was not interested in war, but the US deep state very much so. Roosevelt knew that Japan would run out of oil soon and would be forced to get its oil elsewhere and that could only be the Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia). Roosevelt also knew that the Japanese would be forced to take out the fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor, that otherwise would be used to sink the Japanese tankers sailing from the East Indies back to Japan. When the blow against PH came, there was no surprise whatsoever, Roosevelt was aware of every move the Japanese fleet made. The challenge was to keep it hidden for the commanders of the fleet Kimmel and Short. It was a great success. The attack was designed to happen, anticipated to happen and desired to happen, for the purpose of breaking the peace will of the American population.

    [part 1]

  5. Cloggie on Sat, 26th Nov 2016 5:36 pm 

    The American and Roosevelt groupie Robert Stinnett wrote a book about what really happened at Pearl Harbor. Despite the deceit Stinnett helped uncovering, he nevertheless supported the move. Documentary about Stinnett laying out the details:

    America in 1940 was an economic superpower with almost 1/3 of global GDP, but geopolitical still a backwater. The US deep state wanted to change that, at the cost of Europe and Japan offered unintentionally the opportunity to bring the US in the war, a war prepared for since 1933.

    On 25 April 1939, four months before the outbreak of war, the American ambassador to France William Bullitt called American newspaper columnist Karl von Wiegand, chief European correspondent of the International News Service, to the U.S. embassy in Paris.

    The American Ambassador told me that war had been decided upon. He did not say, nor did I ask, by whom. He let me infer it. … When I said that in the end Germany would be driven into the arms of Soviet Russia and Bolshevism, the Ambassador replied: “‘what of it? There will not be enough Germans left when the war is over to be worth bolshevising.” – – Karl von Wiegand, April, 23rd, 1944, Chicago Herald American

    In other words, the slaughter of Germany had been decided upon long before the Danzig crisis escalated and the Poles, secretly encouraged by the Americans, began to persecute the Germans forced to live in Versailles-Poland. Here British newsreel from the summer of 1939 reporting of hundreds of thousands of Germans fleeing from Poland, prompting the Germans to come to the rescue of their fellow Germans:

    And the Germans by doing so were trapped in a world war they never wanted but that would bring the world in the hands of the Americans and Soviets.

    Interesting detail is that the US, USSR and the British war party led by Churchill were in agreement about this course of action since 1934. When the American Empire wil end, like the Soviet empire ended, this will all come out and concerning the truth of WW2 no stone will be left unturned.

    So yeah, the Japanese are very much aware of the importance of oil for survival, so it is not a surprise that when:

    a) oil prices are low and
    b) America will perhaps withdraw from Japan

    …Japan increases its strategic stockpile.

    [part 2]

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