Japan to test-drill for seabed 'burning ice'

Jul 25, 2011
An attendant highlights an experiment with "burning ice," methane hydrate, at an energy resources event. Japan will seek to extract seabed deposits of the energy-rich mineral in the world's first such offshore experiment, a news report said Monday.

Japan will seek to extract natural gas from seabed deposits of methane hydrate, also known as "burning ice", in the world's first such offshore experiment, a news report said Monday.

The test is scheduled for a stretch of ocean southwest of Tokyo, between Shizuoka and Wakayama prefectures, over several weeks in the fiscal year to March 2013, the Nikkei financial daily said.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is preparing to request more than 10 billion yen ($127.5 million) for the project, the report said.

The government will support further research and aims for commercial drilling to start early in the next decade, the newspaper said.

Methane hydrates are found in environments with high pressure and low temperatures such as the ocean floors, often near continental faultlines, where the gas crystallises on contact with cold sea water.

The offshore experiment, if successful, would be the world's first, the Nikkei said. Methane was previously extracted from on land in Canada in 2008 using technology developed in Japan.

Japan has been looking to diversify its since the powerful March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the world's worst in 25 years at the Daiichi plant northeast of Tokyo.

Resource-poor Japan relies heavily on energy imports from the Middle East and until recently met one third of its electricity needs with nuclear power, but now plans also to boost renewables such as solar and .

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User comments : 4

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LuckyExplorer
not rated yet Jul 25, 2011
Great idea to cast out devils by Beelzebub.
Stop nuclear power and try to release a greenhouse gas by burning methanhydrate from the ground of the sea, while transferring it from the ground is very risky and a lot of methane (again a greenhouse gas) leaks.

The only target-aimed solutions are energy saving technologies and sustainable "alternative" energy sources.

Every other solution is nonsense
Arkaleus
not rated yet Jul 25, 2011
Great. I'll watch Ergo Proxy again and get ready.
http://en.wikiped...pothesis
Snickeringshadow
not rated yet Jul 26, 2011
Didn't Japan have a plan a while back to build a solar-harvesting space station? Whatever happened with that?
holoman
not rated yet Jul 30, 2011
Well, thank you very much.

I told these officials about their methane ice ~5 years ago.

Just shows no integrity by Japanese government.

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