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May 19, 2017

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Home » Business » Energy

Nation on brink of an energy revolution

CHINESE experts have succeeded in collecting samples of “combustible ice” in the South China Sea, a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution, Land and Resources Minister Jiang Daming said yesterday.

China’s first success in mining flammable ice at sea came after nearly two decades of research and exploration, the minister said at a trial mining site in the sea’s Shenhu area.

Combustible ice usually exists in seabed or tundra areas, which have the strong pressure and low temperature necessary for its stability.

It can be ignited like solid ethanol and a cubic meter of the natural gas hydrate is equal to 164 cubic meters of regular natural gas.

China began its research in 1998 and flammable ice was found in the South China Sea in 2007.

Trial mining started on March 28 and experts first tapped the natural gas hydrate at a depth of 1,266 meters last Wednesday. An average of 16,000 cubic meters was extracted each day.

Natural gas hydrate is an efficient, abundant and clean energy and strategically important for future global energy development, the Party’s Central Committee and the State Council said in a congratulatory letter.

International scientific circles say the natural gas hydrate is the best replacement for oil and natural gas.

Zhong Ziran, head of the China Geological Survey Bureau, said combustible ice is more environmentally friendly and large reserves of it exist.


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