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Japan's Japex sets 2050 carbon neutrality target, pulls out of Canadian shale project


Plans to accelerate CCS/CCUS tech developments for new business

Announces selling entire 10% stake in North Montney shale gas project

Pandemic, decarbonization among factors for Canada shale withdrawal

Tokyo — Japan Petroleum Exploration on May 13 joined a growing list of Japanese energy companies pursuing 2050 carbon neutrality, announcing it would utilize its expertise in CO2 capture and storage technology to achieve the target and announcing plans to cut its CO2 emissions by 40% by fiscal year 2030-31 (April-March) .

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The board of Japex decided May 13 it would pull out of a shale gas project in Canada, selling its entire 10% stake to Malaysia's Petronas, operator of the shale gas project in the North Montney region of British Columbia, the company said.

The aim of Japex, in which is owned 34% by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to reach 2050 carbon neutrality and slash CO2 emissions comes on the heels of accelerated efforts by other Japanese companies to decarbonize.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said April 22 that the country aims to cut 46% of its greenhouse gas emissions by fiscal 2030-31 compared with fiscal 2013-14, ramping up from a 26% reduction targeted earlier.

Carbon neutrality

Japex aims to cut its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by fiscal 2030-31 from levels in fiscal 2019-20 and aims to help reducw Sope 3 CO2 emissions in its supply chain via measures including establishing new technologies and supplying cleaner energy.

As Japan's forerunner in CO2 capture and storage technology, Japex said it intends to aim for a speedy commercialization of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) and carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

Japex also intends to make forays into energy businesses where it can utilize its CCS/CCUS technology including bio-energy with CCS, or biomass-fueled power generation with CCS and gas-fired power generation with CCS, and said it will consider entering blue hydrogen, methanation and carbon recycling landscapes.

Canada shale

Japex, which had recognized a need in its midterm business plan released in 2018 to transform its E&P business structure for sustainable growth even at $50-60/b oil price environments, said the increasingly changing business environment and the "new normal' in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and global decarbonization has prompted the sale of its 10% stake in the North Montney JV.

As a result of this transaction, Japex expects to record an extraordinary loss of about C$493 million or Yen 39.4 billion ($359.3 million) in its the consolidated financial results for the second quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.