Exploratory drilling for natural gas in Miyako

Exploratory drilling for natural gas in Miyako

People involved in the project push the start button for natural gas drilling in Gusukubebora, Miyako on August 31.

September 1, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Government started exploratory drilling for natural gas in Gusukubebora, Miyako on August 31.

The government plans to carry out exploratory drilling at three sites in Okinawa. To start with, they are working on the drilling in Miyako. A person involved said, “We want the project to promote the Miyako economy.”

The government held a ceremony for the project at the site with 50 people involved in the central, prefectural and city governments taking part. They prayed for the safety of the drilling work and the success of the project.

Eight companies inside and outside Okinawa including the New Energy and Industrail Technology Development Organization took part in the project. The project aims to confirm the quality of hot spring water and natural gas and conduct geological surveys. The companies plan to drill as deep as 2,500 meters by the middle of January 2014 and plan to conduct production tests by the end of that month. In parallel with the drilling work, the companies will analyze gas produced in the well fields from August 2013 to February 2014.

According to a person involved in the drilling work, they plan to conduct a full-scale geological survey of a kind never been done before. The companies said that they will be able to gain useful information on disaster prevention from the project.

In the ceremony, five people including Miyako Mayor Toshihiko Shimoji stood in front of the 38-meter high natural gas drilling tower. One of them pushed the button to start the drilling.

Mayor Shimoji said, “We have finally begun work on the drilling more than 20 years after the start of the survey. This will allow us to work on various energy-related projects such as transfer from oil to natural gas for power plants and plastic greenhouse culture by using hot spring water.”

The government plans to start exploratory drilling in Nanjo at the middle of September and in Onoyama, Naha at the middle of October.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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