Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. rose the most in 18 months in Tokyo trading after Kyodo News reported the nation’s second-biggest oil and gas explorer succeeded in trial extraction of shale oil in the country.
Shares of the company, known as Japex, rose as much as 10 percent, the most since March 2011, before paring gains to close 5.3 percent higher at 3,380 yen. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.5 percent.
The company found a small amount of shale oil today at its Ayukawa oil and gas field in northern Japan’s Akita prefecture during trials that started on Oct. 1, said a Tokyo-based Japex spokesman who asked not to be named in line with company policy. Japex will continue the tests until early next year to develop production technology for shale gas and oil.
The company estimates shale-oil reserves of 5 million barrels at the field, according to the spokesman. This compares with Japan’s average daily crude oil imports of 3.4 million barrels in 2011.