Leading Off


Nippon Foundation, DeepStar in MoU to Decarbonize Offshore O&G

Naomi Harrison

From left: Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, The Nippon Foundation; Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation; Shakir Shamshy, Director, DeepStar; and Pat Toomey, Manager, Planning and Performance, Chevron’s Complex Process Facilities, DeepStar.

The Nippon Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the offshore technology development consortium DeepStar to establish a joint research and development program focused on decarbonization in offshore oil and gas, with a focus on renewable energy and the environment.

The initial program budget is up to $10 million through 2026, and the overall plan is to develop technologies for commercialization.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to conclude this new memorandum of understanding,” said Mr. Sasakawa. “The global movement toward decarbonization has been accelerating day by day, and in offshore development, I believe it is vital to promote new developments, such as reducing environmental impact. I suggest we become leaders in the future Japanese and the global offshore development market focusing on the environment by creating new innovations with DeepStar.”


Beginning with the promotion of the shipbuilding business, The Nippon Foundation has been engaged in various projects in the field of offshore development, and in recent years has focused on training engineers specializing in offshore development and technological innovation (The Nippon Foundation Ocean Innovation Consortium).

The Foundation has been cooperating with DeepStar for R&D in the field of offshore oil and gas since 2018, when the two parties signed a MoU and launched a joint R&D program. Via this latest MoU, The Nippon Foundation and DeepStar aim to strengthen their collaboration by consolidating industry, technology, and expertise, with a focus on improving the environment, renewable energy, and safety, in response to heightened global awareness of carbon neutrality and other environmental issues.

Overview of the Plan

1. Research and development will be carried out through collaboration between Japanese companies and major global energy (oil) companies.

2. The Nippon Foundation will support the activities of Japanese companies, and DeepStar will provide Japanese companies with expertise and testing fields for offshore development

3. The collaborative research and development will be carried out as per one of the following seven development themes:

  • Geothermal generation by using high temperature in preserver (renewable energy)
  • Wind power/Ocean current power generation to supply offshore oil & gas production facilities (renewable energy)
  • Cost reduction technology for flammable gas removal and re injection at production facilities (global warming)
  • Establishment of oil spill drift forecast simulation method by using local ocean current monitoring by aerial drone (marine environment)
  • Hydrogen related technologies (global warming)
  • Safety related techs including NUF (normally unattended facilities) and robotics (the safety of the working environment )
  • Water treatment related technologies (marine environment)

This partnership between the Nippon Foundation and DeepStar will address many of the technology needs currently be faced by offshore operators,” said Toomey. “Through the partnership, Japanese companies will help develop new technologies and capabilities to improve offshore safety, environmental performance, reliability, and efficiency.”