Press Releases

September 30, 2008
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

New Operation Company for
The Deep-sea Drilling Vessel Chikyu

Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC; Yasuhiro Kato, President) concluded the operating consignment agreement (*2) with Mantle Quest Japan Co., Ltd.(*1) as of today for entrusting operation of the deep-sea drilling vessel Chikyu, starting from December this year.

The D/V Chikyu has been operated by Global Ocean Development Inc. since July 2006 which concluded cooperation agreement with Norwegian drilling contractor Seadrill Offshore AS. But the contract will expire in October this year. And as a result of JAMSTECís public invitation for operating the D/V Chikyu in February, the operating consignment agreement will be made between JAMSTEC and a new company named Mantle Quest Japan Co., Ltd., which is jointly established by Japan Drilling Co., Ltd. (*3) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (*4).

*1 Mantle Quest Japan Co., Ltd.

Address: 2-4-3 Horidome Cho, Nihonbashi, Chuoku, Tokyo
Establishment: September 10, 2008
Capital: JPY300,000,000
Shareholders: Japan Drilling Co., Ltd (60%), Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (40%)
Work: operation and management of the D/V Chikyu

*2 operating consignment agreement

Contractor: Mantle Quest Japan Co., Ltd.

Terms of contract: From the date of conclusion through March 31, 2009

Amount of contract: JPY3,440,000,000 (cost-plus)

Contract details:
operation and management of the vessel, maintenance of the vesselís body/ drilling equipment/ facilities, providing/ controlling subcontractor service, procurement of equipment, control land stations, etc.,

*3 Japan Drilling Co., Ltd.

Establishment: April 23, 1968

Capital: JPY4,000,000,000

Number of employees: 550

The only one ocean drilling contractor in Japan. Having five rigs and operating ocean drilling for oil or natural gas in Japan and overseas such as off the coast of Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

*4 Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha

Establishment: October 1, 1885

Capital: JPY88,531,000,000

Number of employees: 29,872

One of large ocean going shipping companies in Japan undertaking total of eight categories of business such as liner service and other marine services, logistics, terminals, passenger vessel, real estate. Number of operating ships and vessels are 777.
GODI is an affiliated company, which operates the Oceanographic Research Vessel Mirai as well as the D/V Chikyu.


(For the contract)
Mr. Takeo Tanaka, e-mail:
Manager, Planning and Coordination Department
The Center for Deep Earth Exploration (CDEX)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
(For publication)
Mr. Noriyuki Murata, e-mail:
Manager, Planning Department Press Office
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology