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Agency for Natural Resources and EnergyFirst Offshore Methane Hydrate Production Test to be Conducted –World’s First Attempt to Extract Natural Gas from Seabed Methane Hydrate

The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) will conduct the world's first offshore production test to dissolve methane hydrate and extract natural gas off the coast of Japan, from Atsumi Peninsula to Shima Peninsula (Daini Atsumi Knoll).

To conduct the offshore production test, the Deep Sea Drilling Vessel "Chikyu" left Shimizu Port and started its preparatory work at a testing point yesterday, January 28, 2013.

A test to dissolve methane hydrate and extract natural gas is planned to be conducted upon completion of the preparatory work.

1. Background

Methane hydrate is a compound that consists of methane and water that are crystallized in a low temperature, high pressure state. A considerable amount of methane hydrate is estimated to be present in the surrounding marine zones of Japan, which is expected to be a natural gas resource in the future.

2. Overview of the first offshore methane hydrate production test

A test to dissolve methane hydrate and extract natural gas will be conducted off the coast of Japan, from Atsumi Peninsula to Shima Peninsula from January to March, 2013, as a part of the technical preparation that is required for commercializing methane hydrate.

Such a test is the first attempt in the world.

Description of the test

Name of the test:
The First Offshore Methane Hydrate Production Test (Gas Production Experiment)
Test location:
Off the coast of Japan, from Atsumi Peninsula to Shima Peninsula (Daini Atsumi Knoll) (See Appendix)
Test period:
January - end of March, 2013 (pending)
Contractor:
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (project implementing organization)
Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. (operator)
Vessel:
The Deep Sea Drilling Vessel "Chikyu"

3. Future plans

ANRE will oversee analysis on the test results, etc., and steadily address the technical preparation that is required for commercial production.

Release Date

January 29, 2013

Division in Charge

Petroleum and Natural Gas Division, Natural Resources and Fuel Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

 
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