China Claims Breakthrough Methane Hydrates Mining
Chinese authorities claim to have achieved a major breakthrough in mining methane hydrates in the form of ice from the floor of the South China Sea (SCS), that could lead to a global energy revolution. The fuel was discovered in 2007 but for the first time China is able to mine it in a continuous process from a floating rig in the SCS. Depth: 1,200 m. Since production began on May 10, 2017, 120,000 m3 pure gas-hydrate has been extracted. Japan reported similar successes.
The US-DOE estimates that global methane hydrates reserves could be bigger than all other sources of fossil fuel combined. However, mining of methane hydrates is potentially environmentally dangerous, because methane is one of the worst green house gasses.
[source] Chinese crew celebrating success