• 4 minutes Tariffs to derail $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in West Virginia
  • 9 minutes Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 17 minutes Kaplan Says Rising Oil Prices Won't Hurt US Economy
  • 2 hours Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 1 hour Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 2 hours Tesla Closing a Dozen Solar Facilities in Nine States
  • 4 hours Saudi Arabia plans to physically cut off Qatar by moat, nuclear waste and military base
  • 4 hours EU Leaders Set To Prolong Russia Sanctions Again
  • 1 hour Why is permian oil "locked in" when refineries abound?
  • 39 mins Oil prices going down
  • 16 hours Teapots Cut U.S. Oil Shipments
  • 2 mins Gazprom Exports to EU Hit Record
  • 1 hour Could oil demand collapse rapidly? Yup, sure could.
  • 12 hours Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 4 hours China’s Plastic Waste Ban Will Leave 111 Million Tons of Trash With Nowhere To Go
  • 7 hours Saudi Arabia turns to solar
  • 17 hours Putin Says 'Fierce' U.S. Politics Hindering Summit With Trump
  • 6 hours EVs Could Help Coal Demand
  • 17 hours Hot line, Macron: Phone Calls With Trump Are Like Sausages Best Not To Know What Is Inside
Alt Text

Azerbaijan’s Pipeline Conundrum

Azerbaijan’s European pipeline project is…

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and…

More Info

Trending Discussions

Energy Breakthrough? China Has Successfully Mined ‘Fire Ice’ From The Sea

gas flaring

China has successfully extracted gas from gas hydrates—also known as ‘fire ice’ or ‘flammable ice’—in the northern part of the South China Sea, the China Geographical Survey said on Thursday.

Gas hydrate, methane hydrate in particular, is a cage-like structure of crystallized ice, inside of which are trapped molecules of methane, the chief constituent of natural gas. If methane hydrate is either warmed or depressurized, it reverts back to water and natural gas.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), global estimates vary, but the energy content of methane in hydrates is “immense, possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels”. But no methane production other than small-scale field experiments has been documented so far.

Today, the China Geographical Survey said that it managed to collect samples from the Shenhu area in the South China Sea in a test that started last Wednesday. Every day some 16,000 cubic meters (565,000 cubic feet) of gas, almost all of which was methane, were extracted from the test field.

China is not the only country that is testing ‘fire ice’ deposits discovered in their waters. Japan, for example, has been studying for years the potential recovery of methane hydrate, and launched last month preparations to carry out a second production test to extract methane gas from gas hydrates with two wells. Related: Venezuela’s Oil Production On The Brink Of Collapse

Last week, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said that on May 4 the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) had launched a gas production test to dissolve methane hydrate and extract natural gas offshore Japan, and confirmed the production of natural gas.

The U.S. also has a methane hydrate program to develop technologies that could allow safe methane production from arctic and domestic offshore hydrates.

In July last year, the U.S. Geological Survey said that large deposits of potentially producible gas hydrate was found in the Indian Ocean for the first time, in a joint research project with the governments of India and Japan.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Naomi on May 19 2017 said:
    Methane hydrate is bad news for OPEC. Methane does not need refining. Methane is a useful transportation or electric power plant fuel. Methane is clean burning. Catalysts can convert methane directly to electricity. Lubricants manufactured from gas are purer than those manufactured from crude oil. The only product missing from methane is road pavement asphalt. Infrastructure exists to handle transport gas and liquid natural gas. Enormous deposits of methane hydrate exist. Mining methane hydrate is a matter of technique. Once the technique is developed and capital invested the cost of production is nil. Crude oil is much less desirable than methane. OPEC had a good fifty year run. OPEC had plenty of time to invest in wealth creating industries that can sustain their populations indefinitely.
  • Top Secret on May 21 2017 said:
    The cost of mining gas hydrates will go down to from 200 dollars a cubic meter to hopefully 100 dollars a cubic meter.The Philippines and China will jointly developed the gas hydrates and natural gas in the SCS for trade and development.There is a signed agreement with all the ASEAN countries on a Code of Conduct in the SCS.(no armed conflict)

Leave a comment




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