Japan Extracts Offshore Gas from Methane Hydrate Deposits

Japan on Tuesday extracted natural gas from a next-generation energy source called methane hydrate in the seabed in Pacific waters off central Japan, the first such case in the world, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said.

“We started production of a certain amount of methane gas from around 9:30 a.m.,” a ministry official said, noting that if the gas is extracted stably for about two weeks in the ongoing trial it would be a “major step” toward future commercial development of the resource.

Methane hydrate is believed to exist across a wide area of seabed in waters surrounding Japan, with its deposits estimated to be sufficient to cover domestic consumption of natural gas for about 100 years.


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