• 13 hours Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 13 hours Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 14 hours China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 15 hours UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 15 hours Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 16 hours VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 17 hours Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 18 hours Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 19 hours OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 1 day U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 2 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 2 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 2 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 2 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 2 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 4 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 4 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 5 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 5 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 5 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 5 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 5 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 5 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 6 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 6 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 6 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 6 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 6 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 6 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 6 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 7 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 7 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 7 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 7 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 7 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 7 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 7 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 7 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 8 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
Trump Just Made Iran A Wildcard

Trump Just Made Iran A Wildcard

The impact of Trump’s decision…

How OPEC Continues To Cheat On Its Own Deal

How OPEC Continues To Cheat On Its Own Deal

OPEC oil production has once…

Has Japan Doomed the Planet by Starting to Extract Methane Hydrates?

The state-owned Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation, has just recently become the first company in the world to successfully extract natural gas from methane hydrate deposits trapped beneath the ocean floor.

The field in which the production tests have taken place is believed to hold enough methane hydrate to meet Japan’s needs for 11 years. The total volume of hydrates in the waters around Japan would supply 100 year’s worth of demand, according to the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. In methane hydrates are estimated to be so abundant throughout the entire world, that extracting them would mean that fossil fuels would not run out for several centuries.

The 2012 Global Energy Assessment (GEA) was a study that looked into the potential of methane hydrates, describing them as “a solid crystalline substance composed of water and natural gas (primarily methane) in which water molecules form a cage-like structure around the gas molecules.

Related article: Algeria: Leveling the Playing Field for Shale Gas Exploration

The cage structure of the hydrate molecule concentrates the component gas so that a single cubic metre of gas hydrate will yield approximately 160 cubic metres of gas and 0.8 cubic metres of water.”

Whilst the idea of a massively abundant new fuel source seems like an exciting idea on the face of it, the greenhouse gases that extracting it and burning it could release could doom the planet. Methane is 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that mass releases of methane gas trapped beneath the ocean floor “appears to have occurred in connection with rapid warming episodes in the Earth's history.”

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Norm R on March 16 2013 said:
    Yes there was a methane release (naturally caused by an estimated 5 degree C increase in ocean temperatures) 265 million years ago that lead to the Permian extinction. This was the largest known extinction event in world history, bigger than the extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. In some sense ocean bottoms are a very large can of pop with a top screwed on tight. Perhaps if the Japanese disturb the methane bed it will set off a chain reaction of methane explosions, especially in conjunction with the warming that the world's oceans have experienced. We should not mess with this until we understand it a lot better.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News