Japan's energy agency said Monday that no commercial amounts of oil and gas were found after three months of test drilling at a site in the Sea of Japan.
Under the first government-initiated drilling in nine years, several companies conducted the test drilling at a site that was hoped might be one of the largest oil and gas deposits in the resource-poor country.
JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp. and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., known as JOGMEC, started the drilling in April about 30 kilometers southwest off Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture at the request of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency.
Working until Saturday, the companies drilled a well about 2,000 meters below the seabed.
But the agency said only small amounts of oil and natural gas were found, and it will decide whether to have private firms continue the research and development after analyzing the data collected.