China confirms methane hydrates under South China Sea

Researchers confirmed methane hydrates in the northern South China Sea, said Zhang Hongtao, deputy director of China Geological Survey Bureau.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, June 6 -- Researchers confirmed methane hydrates in the northern South China Sea, said Zhang Hongtao, deputy director of China Geological Survey Bureau.

One sample was drilled 183-201 m under the seabed, with the hydrate-containing sedimentary strata 18 m thick. The hydrate contained 99.7% methane.

A second sample was found 191-225 m under the seabed, with the hydrate-containing sedimentary strata 34 m thick. The hydrate contained 99.8% methane.

Earlier this year, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry reported a methane hydrate discovery of some 1.1 trillion cu m of estimated gas in place in a section of the Nankai Trough about 50 km off eastern Japan (Oil & Gas Journal Online, March 07, 2007).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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