ANRE Conducts Offshore Production Test to Dissolve Methane Hydrate Off Japan

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.

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.

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


Press Release, January 31, 2013