The Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) has extended a US$49mn loan to US firm JGC Exploration Eagle Ford for the production of shale oil in Texas.

This is JBIC’s first loan to a shale oil project, and it is co-financed with private financial institutions, bringing the total amount to US$70mn.

JGC Exploration Eagle Ford is a wholly owned US subsidiary of Japanese oil company JGC Corporation. The project will be operated by Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

JBIC expects shale oil production to rise sharply in the coming years, and wants to increase Japanese firms’ opportunities to participate in this development. Supporting JGC on this project “will lead to an increase in the independent development ratio through the firm’s gaining ownership and it is expected to contribute to Japan’s energy security in the future”, the bank adds.