(Yicai Global) Nov. 16 -- China's State Council has officially approved natural gas hydrate, or combustible ice, as the country's 173rd mineral variety, said Xia Jun, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Land and Resources at a press briefing today.
Natural gas hydrate, with a high energy density, is a clean and efficient energy resource and chemical raw material, from which the natural gas can be exploited and used in the civil and industrial fuel, chemical and electricity generation sectors.
The key strategic reserve resource is found widely in China's seas and its development and utilization will provide a new direction for the national energy resources security and reduce dependency on foreign oil and gas, said Xia.
The move also contributes to improvements in the mix of energy production and consumption, Xia added. It's listing as a new mineral variety will speed up the pace of development and utilization to meet the needs of clean energy and aid the control of greenhouse gas emissions. This will enhance the country's capability to develop sustainably, create a sound ecological environment, and promote green development.
The listing is also beneficial to the opening the market for mining rights related to natural gas hydrate, promoting technological innovations in exploration and exploitation.