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Resumption of the Gas Production Test under the Second Offshore Methane Hydrate Production Test

On May 15, 2017, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) suspended the gas production test of the second offshore methane hydrate production test, commissioned to the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC). However, it has resumed the test and, on June 5, 2017, confirmed the production of gas.

1. Background

Methane hydrate is a compound that consists of methane and water that is crystallized in a low-temperature, high-pressure state. A considerable amount of methane hydrate is estimated to be present in the sea areas surrounding Japan, which is expected to be a source of natural gas resources in the future.

2. Current state of the second test

Concerning the second offshore methane hydrate production test, since May 4, 2017, ANRE has been advancing a gas production test in the offshore sea area along Atsumi Peninsula to Shima Peninsula (Daini Atsumi Knoll) using the Deep Sea Drilling Vessel “Chikyu.” However, on May 15, 2017, it decided to suspend the test due to a significant amount of sand entering a gas production well.

In response, ANRE advanced an operation for switching the gas production wells from the first one to the second one for which a different preventive measure against sand entry is in place. Following this effort, on May 31, 2017, it began a depressurization operation and, on June 5, 2017, confirmed the production of gas.

3. Future schedule

ANRE will engage in an operation for continual gas production at the second production well until late June 2017.

Release date

June 6, 2017

Division in Charge

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

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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