METI
Font Size Change
S
M
L
Easy Web Browsing tool

Suspension of the Gas Production Test under the Second Offshore Methane Hydrate Production Test Currently conducting an operation for switching gas production wells

The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) launched a gas production test, commissioned to the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), to dissolve methane hydrate and extract natural gas in the offshore sea area along Atsumi Peninsula to Shima Peninsula, and on May 4, 2017, it confirmed the production of natural gas in the area. However, on May 15, 2017, it decided to suspend the gas production test due to sand entering a well.

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, in the early morning of May 15, 2017, it decided to suspend the test due to a significant amount of sand entering a gas production well.

ANRE has suspended the test during an operation for continual gas production for approximately three to four weeks. However, it will analyze the cause and other factors of the sand entry and utilize the analysis results in the development of natural gas in the future.

In addition, during the second offshore methane hydrate production test, ANRE has confirmed the production of approximately 35,000 m3 of gas in total (provisional value) for 12 days, while having confirmed the production of approximately 120,000 m3 of gas for 6 days in the first test in March 2013.

3.Future schedule

ANRE will suspend the gas production test at the well and has started preparatory work for conducting a gas production test (scheduled from late May to early June 2017) at another production well for which different types of preventive measure against sand entry has been provided.

Release date

May 15, 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
Copyright Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. All Rights Reserved.