(Yicai Global) Aug. 28 -- China's Ministry of Land and Resources, the government of China's southeastern Guangdong province and China National Petroleum Corp. have inked a cooperative agreement in Beijing to form a combustible ice mining experimental zone in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea.
"The company will take its advantages in onshore natural gas exploitation and deep-sea combustible ice trial mining technology and experience to achieve the targets of increasing production in the experimental area and reducing mining costs, while effectively protecting the environment," said Wang Yilin, chairman of China National Petroleum Corp. at the signing ceremony, Nanfang Daily reported Aug. 26.
The company recently conducted combustible ice test exploitation in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea for 60 consecutive days, said Wang Dongjin vice chairman of CNPC subsidiary PetroChina Co. [SHA:601857] at its 2017 interim results conference, adding that cumulative gas extraction has exceeded 300,000 cubic meters, and it is expected that commercial exploitation of combustible ice can be realized by 2030.
The amount of combustible ice reserves is astronomical, and estimated to be equivalent to twice the total energy of coal, oil and natural gas, while China's combustible ice resources are currently estimated to be 1,000 trillion cubic meters. If they are successfully developed, this resource will be available for 200 years' use, Wang added.
Combustible Ice is also called natural gas hydrate, methane clathrate, methane hydrate, etc. It is a substance formed of natural gas and water crystallizing under high pressure and at low temperatures. It generates almost no residue from combustion. Combustible ice is mainly distributed in the deep sea and continental margins, data show.