Methane hydrate flow established off Japan

Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp. (Jogmec), Tokyo, said it has produced methane from methane hydrates during tests of a well drilled in about 1,000 m of water offshore the Atsumi and Shima peninsulas of Japan.

The well, operated by Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., produced methane by depressurization of hydrates in a layer 270-330 m below the seabed.

Jogmec said it was the first offshore test of methane hydrate flow ever conducted.

It didn’t specify the production rate, which it called noncommercial. The test was part of a second phase of methane hydrate research, the first phase of which was conducted during 2001-08.

The Chikyu drillship drilled the well.

Jogmec said it will conduct a second offshore production test under the second phase of research, a project of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

Commercial production is contemplated under a third phase during 2016-18.

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