Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate offshore
Tokyo, March 12 : Japanese media reported on Tuesday that the country successfully extracted natural gas from methane hydrate in the seabed in Pacific waters off central Japan, marking the first such case in the world.
"We started production of a certain amount of methane gas from around 9:30 a.m.," local media quoted an official from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry as reporting, adding that if the gas is extracted stably for about two weeks in the ongoing experiment it would be a "major step" toward future commercial development of the resource.
According to the ministry, in the trial conducted about 80 kilometers south of the Atsumi Peninsula, Aichi Prefecture, methane hydrate located at about 1.3 kilometers below the ocean surface was dissolved into gas and water and the gas was collected through a well.
Methane hydrate is believed to exist across a wide area of seabed in waters surrounding Japan. The deposits were estimated to be sufficient to supply domestic consumption of natural gas for about 100 years.