• 4 minutes Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 9 minutes Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 15 minutes Oil prices going Up? NO!
  • 1 min The Tony Seba report
  • 1 hour Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 19 mins Harley-Davidson "Made in EU"
  • 13 mins Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 1 hour Erdogan After Erdogan: New Presidential Mandate After Yesterday's Elections
  • 11 hours Kenya Eyes 200+ Oil Wells
  • 5 hours LNG Shortage on the Way
  • 1 hour The U.S. Will Soon Give North Korea a Timeline of 'Specific Asks
  • 11 hours Are Electric Vehicles Really Better For The Environment?
  • 3 hours Sell out now or hold on?
  • 20 hours Saudi Arabia turns to solar
  • 15 hours Renewables to generate 50% of worldwide electricity by 2050 (BNEF report)
  • 1 day Oil prices going Up? NO!
  • 3 hours No LNG Pipelines? Let the Trucks Roll In
  • 13 mins China’s Plastic Waste Ban Will Leave 111 Million Tons of Trash With Nowhere To Go
  • 11 hours OPEC soap opera daily update
Shale CEO: U.S. To Be The World’s Top Oil Producer By Fall

Shale CEO: U.S. To Be The World’s Top Oil Producer By Fall

Pioneer Natural Resources chief Scott…

Goldman: Expect Another Bull Run In Oil

Goldman: Expect Another Bull Run In Oil

While oil prices are tumbling,…

The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea

Offshore

Final sea trials for the Blue Whale II underwater drilling rig are now underway, according to the technology’s producer, CIMC Raffles, marking a new milestone drilling rig developments.

The Blue Whale I model, completed back in February, and its newer sibling, Blue Whale II, represent the most advanced offshore drilling rigs in the world – ready to tackle water depths of 12,000 feet and drill to a depth of 50,000 feet while extracting fossil fuels.

The Blue Whale I was used to drill methane hydrate from the South China Sea in recent weeks on behalf of the China National Petroleum Corporation.  The nearly $1 billion platform is as tall as a 37-story building, the largest oil platform in the world

Gas hydratemethane 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.

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: Russia Unfazed by U.S. Oil Sanctions

The U.S. also has a methane hydrate program to develop technologies that could allow safe methane production from arctic and domestic offshore hydrates. It is unclear whether or not the Blue Whale platform technology has made its way to American researchers studying the extraction of the new fuel from the Earth’s crust.

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.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Lee James on November 12 2017 said:
    I'll be interested to see what studies show in the way of extraction efficiency -- how much hydrate stays in the pipeline, for end-users, and how much escapes to atmosphere, affecting producer profit and our planet's climate.

Leave a comment

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