China becomes 1st to exploit NGH, a cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels in South China Sea

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/18 15:05:59

China has become the first country to exploit Natural Gas Hydrate (NGH, or Gas Hydrate) resources at sea, and the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council sent a message of congratulation to the country’s team in the South China Sea, it was reported Thursday.

According to the official website of the China Geological Survey (CGS) under the Ministry of Land and Resources, China has successfully exploited NGH in the South China Sea’s Shenhu sea area. They have been able to exploit NGH for seven consecutive days, proving that China is able to stably collect NGH, the CGS said on Thursday. 

The mining location is at a depth of 1,266 meters, about 285 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council sent messages of congratulation to all staff and scientists related to the mission and said that this is a significant scientific achievement for humanity, CCTV reported on Thursday.

According to an August 2014 People’s Daily report, “China plans to begin to drill natural gas hydrate in its territorial waters in 2015, which will greatly push forward the exploration process of combustible ice, according to the Eighth International Conference on Gas Hydrates held in Beijing on June 29, 2014.”
 
NGH is commonly known as "combustible ice" as it looks like ice and burns easily, and it is mainly found in deep-sea sediments or permafrost areas. It consists of 80 to 99.9 percent methane and produces much less pollution than coal, oil and natural gas.
  
The planet’s abundant reserves of gas hydrate could potentially sustain mankind’s current energy needs for about 1,000 years, so it is regarded as an important alternative to polluting fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas. “Currently, more than 30 countries and regions have carried out research and exploration into combustible ice and moderate progress has been made in recent years,” people.cn reported. 


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