Okha (142.93E 53.57N) was the location of an oil field in northern Sakhalin. Drilling began under the Japanese in 1921, when Japan occupied northern Sakhalin concurrently with the Siberian Expedition, and the field was in production by 1923. In 1924 Japan reached an agreement with Russia to withdraw its troops on condition that it receive a concession for continued oil production. The concession was for 45 years and included the right to prospect new fields for 11 years, in return for rent of 4% of production. Japanese concessions amounted to about half the producing fields in northern Sakhalin.

Growing tensions between Russia and Japan had begun to seriously hinder production by 1939, when the Japanese had 211 wells at Okha producting just over 300 tons per day. Refining capacity was very limited, amounting to perhaps 800 tons per year. Production continued through the war, but on 30 March 1944 Japan reached an agreement with Russia to return the concessions in return for five million rubles and a committment to sell Japan 50,000 tons of oil per year for a minimum of five years.

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Igolkin (2004; accessed 2012-11-4)

Van Royen and Bowles (1952)

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