OREANDA-NEWS. ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) has been participating in the oil and gas exploration operation (hereinafter the “Operation”) conducted in the Zapadno-Yaraktinsky Block (hereinafter the “ZY Block”) and Bolshetirsky Block (hereinafter the “BT Block”) located in Irkutsk Oblast, Eastern Siberia, the Russian Federation, along with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (hereinafter “JOGMEC”) and INPEX CORPORATION (hereinafter “INPEX”), through Japan South Sakha Oil Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “JASSOC”).

A long-term production test aimed at obtaining an accurate assessment of reserves has been conducted on the Ichyodinskoye oil field (hereinafter the “ICH Oil Field”) located in the ZY Block, where oil and natural gas reserves were discovered during previous exploration activities.

As a result of the above test, the commercial quantities of reserves of the ICH Oil Field has been confirmed, and therefore, Limited liability Company “Irkutsk Oil Company” (hereinafter “INK”), one of the largest independent oil company, which is the partner company, and JASSOC, decided to enter into the production phase on the ICH Oil Field and it is expected that the approval from the Russian authority can be obtained by the end of 2016.

The ZY Block and BT Block are onshore blocks located approximately 700 km north of Irkutsk City, covering an area of approximately 4,835 km2 and 3,307 km2, respectively. The blocks are wholly owned and operated by Joint-Stock Company “INK-Zapad” (hereinafter “INK-Zapad”), a joint venture between INK and JASSOC.

The crude oil produced from the ICH Oil Field is expected to be exported from Kozmino Port in the Russian far-east to the Asian market, including Japan, as well as to be supplied to the Russia domestic market, through the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline.

The Project has also confirmed oil and gas accumulations in addition to the ICH Oil Field. It is therefore expected that production testing and other appraisal activities targeting these accumulations will be carried out sequentially going forward.

Since Eastern Siberia in the Russian Federation is an area where high oil and gas potential is expected, ITOCHU will continue to focus on expanding its oil and gas exploration and production activities in the area, including further expansion of the Project.