US, Japan look for ‘fire in the ice’

Gas hydrate could become the industry’s next game-changer, offering gas-poor countries such as Japan the potential for significant domestic supplies. But can it be produced at the right price?

The Japanese ship Chikyu was part of a drilling programme in the Nankai Trough, which contains methane gas hydrate. (PA) The Japanese ship Chikyu was part of a drilling programme in the Nankai Trough, which contains methane gas hydrate. (PA)

Gas hydrate could become the industry’s next game-changer, offering gas-poor countries such as Japan the potential for significant domestic supplies. But can it be produced at the right price?