Japan and Seychelles Set to Enter New Era of Joint Oil Exploration
President James Michel, who holds the portfolio for hydrocarbons, has announced that Seychelles and Japan will be concluding an agreement in the near future for a joint oil exploration programme in the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone.
This follows a meeting held in Yokohama, where the President held talks with the President of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), Mr. Hirobumi Kawano.
Mr. Kawano said that JOGMEC was highly interested in the potential of discovery of oil and gas deposits in the waters of the Seychelles archipelago, and that it had conducted preliminary discussions with PetroSeychelles.
The JOGMEC President also added that any future exploration activities will be undertaken with utmost care for the protection of the environment, and that JOGMEC would share expertise with PetroSeychelles for various safe methods of exploration. In the preliminary stage, joint seismic surveys would be undertaken.
President Michel said that Seychelles looks forward to a fruitful partnership with JOGMEC and that the confidence expressed by Japanese experts would further boost the initiative to discover oil, gas and other mineral deposits, which would bring an added dimension to the already thriving cooperation between Seychelles and Japan.
“We are conscious of the potential for vast amounts of oil and gas deposits, however any exploration in Seychelles waters would need to be done with the greatest attention to the protection of our pristine environment. We welcome this proposal to partner with Japan, which is highly reputed for attention to environmental and technical excellence in this field of research and development,” said President Michel.
To note, in December 2012, a delegation from PetroSeychelles visited Japan at the invitation of the Japanese Government and met with JOGMEC, and Japanese oil companies. A JOGMEC delegation visited in Seychelles in March 2013 and discussions were furthered to a more advanced stage. An agreement for the joint exploration programme is currently under review by the Seychelles Government.