Japan and the United States plan to start early next year a joint experiment to extract methane hydrate from deep underground in Alaska to secure a supply of the relatively new natural resource, sources said.
Japan also wants to use the experiment to strengthen cooperation in technological innovations for commercial use, they said Oct. 18.
The government-affiliated Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC) and ConocoPhillips Co. will conduct the experiment about 1 kilometer deep in land owned by the U.S. oil and gas company in northern Alaska, the sources said.
Over 40 days, the two organizations will separate and extract methane gas from the methane hydrate layers.
In methane hydrate, molecules of methane gas are surrounded by the crystal structure of water, making it similar to ice. It is often referred to as "fire ice," and is buried under the sea in coastal areas of the American continents and around Japan.
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to conduct a similar experiment off the Tokai region in central Japan later this year. It will be the first experiment of its kind in the world, the sources said.
- « Prev
- Next »