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Oil majors and Japanese companies join hands in ocean resources development

  • June 11, 2019
  • , NIKKEI Business Daily , p. 13
  • JMH Translation

By Shuji Nakayama


NEW YORK — Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and other oil majors are joining hands with Japanese companies to embark on the development of ocean resources. Original technologies and materials held by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are being tested for practical applications in the development of oil and natural gas in oceans around the world. This is also likely to lead to the improvement of Japanese companies’ ocean development technologies.


One of the Nippon Foundation’s activities is support for joint research projects. Serving as an intermediary, the Foundation called for Japanese companies to submit technologies and materials that might be useful in ocean development. It presented them to “DeepStar,” a global offshore technology development consortium whose membership includes Western majors and research institutes. Eight companies, including Chevron, Shell, Brazil’s Petrobras, and France’s Total, have announced their participation in 10 project ideas proposed by nine Japanese companies, including MHI.


The program is unique in that multiple foreign companies join hands with one Japanese company in each project. The Nippon Foundation will contribute $10 million over three years to support research and the development of engineers. (Abridged)


Key joint research projects by oil majors and Japanese companies

Japanese company

Oil companies

Description of R&D

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Total (France), Shell (British-Dutch)

Autonomous underwater robots

Shimadzu Corporation

Chevron (U.S.), Shell, and others

Wireless optical communications technology in seabed

Nippon Steel Corporation

Total, Chevron

New type of steel for seabed cables

Nissan Chemical Corporation

Woodside (Australia), Chevron

Additives to increase productivity of oil fields

Nippon Paint Marine

Anadarko (U.S.), Woodside, and others

New paints that enable long-term corrosion resistance


Chevron, Total, and others

Subsea induction power supply system

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Equinor (Norway) and others

New type of seabed pump



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