Japan Energy Co. and Idemitsu Kosan have made plans to jointly develop a deepwater oil and gas field offshore Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The partners, both part of Nippon Mining Holdings Inc., plan to drill a 3,280-foot well to determine the extent of the field's reserves. This would be the deepest well drilled, to date, offshore Japan. The drilling program is part of a consignment project from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as well as the Japan National Oil Corp. at a total cost of 3-4 billion yen. Production is slated to start as early as 2008.