Preservation of Japanese petroleum exploration heritage

People and community

Aramco Asia Japan (AAJ) supports “Sekiyu no Sekaikan,” meaning "Petroleum Museum," located in Akiha-ku (the former Niitsu), Niigata, 300km northwest of Tokyo. It is Japan’s only museum that specializes in oil industry.

It is barely known that Japan, whose degree of dependence on imported oil nowadays exceeds 99%, was once an energy self-sufficient country. In fact, while Saudi Aramco first discovered commercial quantity of oil in 1938, the first drilling of oil in Niigata dates back in 1600s, three centuries earlier.

AAJ’s invitation to a partnership was in recognition of the local government’s effort to promote history and culture of oil by treasuring and documenting the heritage of oil industry and the people engaged.

Yaichi Nakahara (right), mayor of Niigata city, and Omar Al Amudi , representative director of Aramco Asia Japan, shake hands after signing the agreement.

A place packed with knowledge of oil

Among the several oil fields in Niigata, Niitsu oil field boasted the highest production contributing greatly to the industrialization of Japan in the early 20th century.

The museum walks the visitors through the many aspects of oil with the actual used tools, photos, and replica of the old days and the culture formed in the region. AAJ is working together with Niigata city to breathe a new life into the museum, hoping to attract more visitors to gain an awareness of oil industry.