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Message from the President of the Japan Petroleum Institute


Atsushi Muramatsu
(Professor, Tohoku Univ.)

I have recently been asked to take on the honored role of President of The Japan Petroleum Institute. To the best of my limited ability, I will make every effort toward the development of the Institute, and ask you for your cooperation.
With no end yet in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, we now face a turning point in history spurred by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. At this turbulent time, the role that petroleum plays in people's everyday lives remains important and exerts a great influence.
Looking at the use of petroleum within the energy mix, absolute consumption volume in chemical raw materials and in automobiles has decreased slightly over the last 20 years compared to consumption for power generation and household use. There has not been major change, however, and there is no change in the role of fossil-based energy sources, including natural gas and coal, in accounting for the bulk of the primary energy supply.
At the same time, the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan was announced on October 22 of last year. This plan seeks to actively promote new technologies including the use of hydrogen and ammonia in anticipation of a shift away from fossil resources, while undertaking initiatives aimed at carbon neutrality by 2050. In terms of composition of power sources, it seeks to limit dependence on petroleum to about 2%, and of course anticipates a complete shift away from oil-fired power generation.
In the aim for carbon neutrality and zero carbon, it is becoming clear that creation, research, and development of new technologies closely connected to petroleum, including use in households and in chemical raw materials, the advancement of further energy conservation in petroleum consumption processes, and the development of effective utilization methods including CO2 conversion technology, are top-priority issues.
There will be no change in the significance of The Japan Petroleum Institute as a key venue where people from academia and business meet and where engineers and researchers involved in petroleum and petrochemicals gather, exchange information, and advance joint research and industry-government-academia collaboration. We will promote the formation of multifaceted relationships with the countries from which petroleum and natural gas resources are procured, actively deepen our understanding of the circumstances surrounding petroleum and natural gas, and advance international cooperation in partnership with industry, government, and academia.
As the main role of The Japan Petroleum Institute, we must provide a stage for exchanges among people, for sharing of research information, and for exchanges of technical information with oil-producing countries, connecting these activities to mutual understanding and continuing them into the future.
As Japan aims to achieve carbon neutrality, we must widely and actively communicate information and provide materials related to petroleum, as a group of experts that possesses extensive knowledge of petroleum. In short, I believe that we will bear an important role in technology, research, and education related to petroleum. I ask for the continued support and cooperation of our members in doing so.