Methane Hydrates

China lists combustible ice as new mineral variety

China has approved listing natural gas hydrate, or combustible ice, as the country’s 173rd mineral variety, a move that will speed up the exploitation of the clean energy source, an official said Thursday. “China has succeeded in mineral prospecting and trial mining, both underwater and in the ground,” Ju Jianhua, head of the mineral reserves department of the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), said Thursday at a press conference. China completed a 60-day trial of combustible ice mining starting in May 2017 in the South China Sea, setting world records in both the length and total amount of extraction, according to the China Geological Survey Bureau. The MLR filed an application in mid-October for the resource’s inclusion in the country’s mineral variety list with the State Council, China’s cabinet, which gave the approval on Nov. 3, Ju said. China first discovered combustible ice […]

China wraps up combustible ice mining trial, setting world records

China on Sunday completed a 60-day trial of mining gas hydrates, commonly known as combustible ice, in the South China Sea, marking breakthroughs in human’s search for alternative clean energy sources. Started from May 10, the mining operation in waters near the Pearl River estuary has beaten previous expectations and set world records in both the length and total amount of extraction, according to the China Geological Survey Bureau. The trial exploration produced over 300,000 cubic meters of gas – mainly methane, with an average daily extraction of more than 5,000 cubic meters of high purity gas, and a highest daily output of 35,000 cubic meters, said the bureau. Meanwhile, 6.47 million sets of experimental data were recorded. China declared its first success in collecting samples of combustible ice in the South China Sea on May 18, which usually exists in seabed or tundra […]

The Song of ‘Fire Ice’: China Claims Revolution in Energy Extraction

As China celebrates its success in extracting natural gas from ‘fire ice’, it’s still unclear whether Beijing has made a significant technological achievement and revolutionized the energy industry. Seeking Energy Security, China, Japan Race to Tap ‘Fire Ice’ Earlier China proudly announced that the country for the first time managed to successfully extract natural gas from methane hydrate deposits located in South China Sea near the delta of the Zhujiang river, and that the amount of extracted natural gas has exceeded all expectations.But while Beijing hailed this accomplishment as a historic breakthrough that ushers a new era in the energy industry, many prominent analysts around the globe regarded the celebration as premature. Igor Yushkov, lead analyst at the National Energy Security Fund, told Sputnik that China’s achievement can be compared to the new technologies developed in the US which made the shale gas extraction economically viable. “And here’s the […]

Can ‘Fire Ice’ Replace Shale?

29 Jun 2017   Methane Hydrates

Scientists, researchers, and engineers have known for decades that there is an energy resource trapped inside ice and found under Arctic permafrost or beneath the ocean floor. Once thought to be rare in nature, newer estimates are that methane hydrates —popularly known as flammable ice or fire ice—are abundant in offshore waters of both resource-rich countries like the U.S., and resource-starving big energy importers like Japan. The current state of methane hydrates development around the world is in studies, resource assessment, and production tests. “ The most recent estimates of gas hydrate abundance suggest that they contain perhaps more organic carbon that all the world’s oil, gas, and coal combined,” the U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) says . Despite the fact that estimates suggest that the content of methane is “immense, possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels ,” according to the U.S. […]