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Japan and the United States will work together to investigate the extraction of methane hydrate in Alaska

November 21, 2014

The Government of Japan and the United States agreed to conduct joint research in the field of experimental production of methane hydrate in Alaska. Corresponding memorandum was signed on November 6 in Tokyo, Japan Economy Minister Yoichi Miyazawa and the US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy.

We already know that the project will implement a Japanese public corporation of oil, gas and metals (JOGMEC) and the State Key Laboratory of Energy and Technology of the Ministry of Energy.

This spring, the Japanese state corporation of oil, gas and metals (JOGMEC) for the first time in the world able to produce gas from methane hydrate, lie on the ocean floor. The first trial batch of natural gas has been extracted from a depth of 1.3 kilometers on the ocean floor from methane hydrate deposits. Fields located in the Pacific Ocean to the south of the main Japanese island of Honshu, according to preliminary estimates, contains reserves of methane hydrate, comparable to natural gas consumption in the country for 14 years.

Methane hydrate - a crystalline substance that occurs at low temperatures and under pressure, a mixture of methane and water molecules, in nature it is found under permafrost or deep-ocean-bottom. Scientists believe that the reserves of this raw material in Japan account for about 7 trillion cubic meters. Japan without having their minerals to import energy. Need for them especially increased after the accident at the nuclear power plant "Fukushima-1" and stop all nuclear power plants in the country. Japanese energy have great hopes for methane hydrate as a promising source of natural gas.