Japanese independent Inpex will spud imminently an offshore exploration well in Japanese waters where years of geophysical studies have given rise to an expectation of an oil and/or gas discovery.

An Inpex spokesperson confirmed to Upstream the semi-submersible drilling rig Hakuryu-5 owned by Japan Drilling Company will begin drilling operations before the end of April.

The well location is 150 kilometres offshore north of Yamaguchi prefecture and 130 kilometres offshore northwest of Shimane prefecture in a water depth of 240 metres.