April 6, 2006
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

Implementation of 3D Seismic Reflection Survey at Kumano-nada off Kii Peninsula in Japan
for upcoming Drilling Vessel CHIKYU scientific drilling

     Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC, President: Mr. Yasuhiro Kato) is scheduled to commence the scientific expedition by Deep Sea Drilling Vessel CHIKYU in Kumano-nada region off Kii Peninsula as her first international operation under the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) from September 2007 for the understanding of seismogenic processes.
     As the preliminary survey, JAMSTEC decided to conduct a 3D seismic reflection survey (Appendix 1) around this area for upcoming full-scale scientific expedition. The geological structures in this area (Appendix 2) will be studied by the data obtained during the survey, then riser drilling location and the detailed drilling plan by CHIKYU will be determined.
This seismic survey will be jointly implemented with University of Hawaii.

*Riser Drilling
Advanced drilling technique that uses a pipe connecting the vessel to the borehole. Blow-Out Preventer (BOP) will be placed on the seafloor to prevent the unexpected high pressure flow of gas, oil or other formation fluids then riser pipe guides the drill pipe for reentering to the well. Mud is circulated from the drilling vessel by using high pressure pumps onboard down through inside the drill pipes, and returns up the annulus between the drill pipe and the borehole, the casing and riser pipe to the vessel.
Compare to the riserless drilling, the riser enables us to drill much deeper

1. Survey Period
April 9-May 31, 2006
The schedule is subject to change, depending on the weather condition or for any reason

2. Survey Vessel
Commercial 3D seismic reflection survey vessel, Nordic Explorer (Chartered ship: Petroleum Geo-Services, Norway) (See Appendix 3)

3. Survey area
Approx.900 km2 at Kumano-nada off Kii Peninsula in Japan (See Appendix 4)
Width-Approx. 15km (South West-North East)
Length-Approx. 60km (North West-South East)

4. Survey description
Acquisition of 3D seismic reflection data and onboard data processing

Contact point :

Eiichi Kikawa
Group Leader
Planning Group
Planning and Coordination Department
Center for Deep Earth Exploration
TEL: +81-45-778-5632

Shinji Oshima
Head of Press Office
TEL: +81-46-867-9193
FAX: +81-46-867-9199