Japan Petroleum Exploration (JPEX) sees the United States as a very attractive investment destination for oil and gas exploration and production despite political risks from this year's elections, its director said on Friday.
“With abundant natural resources, low production costs and well-developed infrastructure, we currently consider the United States to be a very attractive investment destination for exploration and production,” Michiro Yamashita, Japex's general manager, told a press conference.
Mr Yamashita, who will become chairman of Japex from April 1, said the US decision to suspend permits for current and future applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) under the new plans was surprising and raised concerns.
Natural gas and LNG are expected to play an important role in facilitating energy transitions and the US, the world's leading LNG exporter, has adopted a particularly inward-looking policy. Change to combat global climate change, Mr. Yamashita said.
“Given the inward-looking policies under Donald Trump, we have to be mindful of the political risk in America to some extent whether the Democrats or Republicans win this year's election,” he said.
However, the suspension will not have a direct impact on Japex's business or profitability, and the company will not stop its US investments, Mr. Yamashita said.
“We have no plans to slow down our operations in the US,” he said.
On Friday, Jabex reported a 15.6% drop in April-December net profit to 36.5 billion yen ($244 million), due to lower energy prices and a cut in dividends from the Sakhalin 1 oil project in Russia.
The company's full-year profit forecast is 45 billion yen. ($1 = 149.4500 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi. Editing by Jane Merriman)
“Certified food fanatic. Extreme internet guru. Gamer. Evil beeraholic. Zombie ninja. Problem solver. Unapologetic alcohol lover.”