August 24, 2006
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

The Deep-sea Drilling Vessel Chikyu Test Drilling off the Shimokita Peninsula
-Test Operation Report Core Sampling-

   The Deep-sea Drilling Vessel Chikyu of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC; Yasuhiro Kato, President) has been conducting test drilling off the Shimokita Peninsula(100 kilo meters north east off Hachinohe City) at the test site (Appendix-A).
    After the departure in August 6, the Chikyu conducted various machinery examinations and drilling preparations, and carried out drilling and core sampling at 365 meters below the sea floor by using core sampling systems, and succeeded to collect almost all the core samples in a good condition(Appendix-B). As we predicted from the feasibility study that there might be methane hydrate at the test site(Appendix-C), we confirmed that the material in the core sample may contain Intergranular Infilling Type(*1) methane hydrate.
    The Chikyu continues to conduct its first riser drilling as well as targeting to 2,200 meter below the sea floor, the deepest scientific drilling depths through the sea floor ever recorded in the history, schedule described as below.

Major Training Schedules:
Late August: Running BOP and others
Early September: Testing the emergency disconnect sequence (EDS) for the riser and BOP
Mid September: Test operation of core sampling systems
Early October: Reach drilled depth of 2,200 meters below the sea floor
Intergranular Infilling Type: A formation of methane hydrate. Methane hydrate soaks in between coarse-grained particles such as volcanic ash strata. There are other types of formations; seafloor exposure type, nodular & tabular type, etc.


(For Chikyu)
Mr. Jun Fukutomi, e-mail:
International and Research Support
The Center for Deep Earth Exploration (CDEX)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
(For Publication)
Mr. Shinji Oshima, e-mail:
Manager, Planning Department Press Office
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology