LNG Faces Challenge From Methane Hydrates in Japan

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From LNG Industry

Douglas Westwood has released a report that poses the question, ‘Could Methane Hydrates Challenge LNG in Japan?’

While the shale gas boom has taken off, transforming the energy industry, other sources of natural gas have not been exploited. Methane hydrates, the report states, is the ‘dark horse’ of future energy. Methane hydrates, commonly known as ‘burnable ice’ are a potential significant resource of natural gas.

Vast resource

The hydrates are most stable at low temperatures and high pressure, which is why they are found below deep waters and in arctic regions. In theory, the report states, methane hydrates could “revolutionise the energy industry, potentially providing significant upside to natural gas production”. However to date there have been no commercial scale developments of this vast resource.

While companies have discussed the possibility of development in the Gulf of Mexico and in Columbia, it is the possibility for commercialization offshore Japan that remains the most interesting. A large-scale development could considerably impact the country’s existing and growing energy trade deficit.

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