Japanese test confirms successsful extraction of gas from deep-sea methane hydrate

Methane hydrates represent the largest source of hydrocarbons in the earth’s crust.

“The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth”.

JOGMEC has put out a press release:

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation which has been conducting preparation works for the first offshore production test off the coasts of Atsumi and Shima peninsulas, started a flow test applying the depressurization method and confirmed production of methane gas estimated from methane hydrate layers on March 12, 2013.
JOGMEC will start analyzing data while it continues the flow test.

Methane hydrate receives attention as one of the unconventional gas resources in the future.
During the period from FY2001 to FY2008, which is Phase 1 of the “Japan’s Methane Hydrate R&D Program”, seismic surveys and exploitation drillings were conducted at the eastern Nankai trough, off the coast from Shizuoka-pref. to Wakayama-pref., as the model area, where a considerable amount of methane hydrate deposits is confirmed.
In Phase 2 of the Program starting from FY2009, aiming to develop a technology to extract natural gas through dissociation of methane hydrate, this is the first offshore test ever conducted. The first offshore production test is planned over a span of two years. In February and March last year, the preparatory works including drilling a production well and two monitoring wells were conducted. From June to July, the pressured core samples were acquired from methane hydrate layers. In this operation, a flow test through dissociation of methane hydrate is conducted after the preparatory works including drilling and installing equipments for the flow test.

Deposits of methane hydrates have been reported in marine sediments in the Nankai Trough off the Pacific coast of central Japan, where the water depth is more than 500 meters. Some estimates indicate that the reserves of methane hydrate correspond to a 100-year supply of natural gas for Japan, making it an important potential source of energy. The Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC) began research work on methane hydrates in 1995, and JOGMEC has overseen the project since the JNOC’s restructuring. An international joint research team including Japan has obtained successful results in experimental production of methane gas by injecting hot water into a borehole in the Mackenzie Delta in the arctic region of Canada.

With shale gas and shale oil adding to the known reserves of oil and gas and now with the potential exploitation of deep-sea methane hydrates, “peak-oil” and “peak-gas” would seem to have been postponed by a millenium.

 

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One Response to “Japanese test confirms successsful extraction of gas from deep-sea methane hydrate”

  1. Fire Ice (methane hydrate) success in Japan gets India all excited | The k2p blog Says:

    […] posted recently about the successful flow test for extracting gas from deep sea methane hydrate conducted in Japan. Of course commercialisation of […]

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