Methane hydrate production is a boon for Japan

By Andrew Walker 16 May 2017
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A methane hydrate offshore production test in the Eastern Nankai Trough. (JOGMEC) A methane hydrate offshore production test in the Eastern Nankai Trough. (JOGMEC)

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals Corp. (JOGMEC) – a state-run organisation under the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) – successfully produced gas from methane hydrates off the Japanese coast this month, bringing commercialisation of the technology a step closer.

Methane hydrates are an unconventional source of gas that occur in low-temperature, high-pressure environments, such as in deepwater troughs and the Arctic. It is estimated that Japan has 1.1 trillion cubic metres of gas in the form of methane hydrates in the Nankai Trough, which lies off the country’s eastern coast, and it is looking for a way to commercialise them.

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