Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) confirmed the production of natural gas from offshore methane hydrate deposits, during the production tests initiated on May 5.
According to the ministry, the tests, being conducted at two wells will take a combined of four to five weeks.
Production from one well will be carried out over a period of three to four weeks, while production from the second well that is currently undergoing sand removal procedure, will last one week.
The ministry said that preparation works for second methane hydrate ocean production test using the deep-sea exploration vessel Chiykyu started on April 7, while the production began on May 4.
Methane hydrate is an ice-like material which methane molecules and water molecules combine and form under the condition of high pressure and low temperature, According to JOGMEC that conducted the first production test in 2013.
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation’s (JOGMEC)e first flow test off the coasts of Atsumi and Shima peninsulas was terminated due to increased sand production.
JOGMEC adds that the seismic surveys conducted at the eastern Nankai trough estimated 40 trillion cubic feet of methane in place, which is equivalent to around eleven years of the amount of LNG imported into Japan.