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Japan start drilling surveys for methane hydrate resources as next-gen energy

  • Listed: 06/20/2014 7:01 pm
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Japan start drilling surveys for methane hydrate resources as next-gen energy

Methane hydrate surveys to start in Sea of Japan
Date: Jun 20, 2014
Source: NHK World

Japan’s industry ministry says it will start drilling surveys for methane hydrate (Fire Ice) resources in two offshore areas in the Sea of Japan next week. Officials from the ministry say the surveys are aimed at collecting geological samples to assess the amount of shallow deposits.

The frozen natural gas, or flammable ice, is seen as a promising energy source for Japan. One target area is located off Akita and Yamagata prefectures in northeast Japan. The other is off Niigata Prefecture in central Japan. A previous survey found that the Niigata area may also contain methane hydrate deposits.

The test-drilling is to start on Tuesday. The officials say a sonar survey that started in April found promising geological structures off the Niigata and Yamagata area — along with the seabed west of the Oki Islands in Shimane Prefecture, further to the west.

Japan achieved a world first by extracting gas from methane hydrate deposits in the Pacific Ocean seabed in March last year. Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi has pledged efforts to tap methane hydrate as a next-generation energy source — like shale gas in the United States.

Expected target areas for shallow methane hydrate resources in the FY2014 survey

The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) to Launch the FY2014 Survey of Shallow Methane Hydrate. For more details, click here.

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