Sunday, June 10, 2007

Methane Hydrate Reserves--Up to One Half the Amount of Other Fossil Fuel Reserves Worldwide

Methane hydrates may contain up to half the energy of other fossil fuel reserves. China does not want to be left out of the act, and is actively working to develop the methane hydrates lying in the northern part of the South China Sea.
China announced yesterday it had made a breakthrough in excavating natural gas hydrate, the so-called “flammable ice”, which is believed to be a potential natural energy source. Zhang Hongtao, deputy director-general of China Geological Survey (CGS), said gas hydrate samples were successfully collected from the northern part of the South China Sea last month. China is the fourth country after the United States, Japan and India to make such a technological achievement. Zhang said the development was expected to ease the country’s dependence on oil and coal.
Methane hydrates, or "fire in ice", will require special technologies in order to be exploited, because they lie underwater off continental shelfs. As you can see on the map, the China Sea deposits are not considered among the larger deposits. It is quite likely that current estimates of undersea fossil fuel resources are woefully understated.

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