Japan pulling the plug on support for JNOC's E&D investments

As if Japan's petroleum companies having to cope with the crushing downstream competition at home were not enough, Japan's government has recently agreed to pull the plug on continuing financial support for state-owned upstream company Japan National Oil Co. (JNOC). Unlike most foreign oil majors, which derive a significant proportion of their profits from exploration and development, Japanese E&D activity is minimal, making the domestic refining and retail markets the sole areas of significant revenues and profits. For several decades, companies such as Mitsubishi Oil Co. were able to attempt to diversify their revenue base by investing in E&D with considerable fina...

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