Will Extracting the World's Most Abundant Fossil Fuel Release the Methane Monster?

Both Japan and China has annoucned they are now capable of methane hydrate extraction, also known as, ice crystals. Which just been discovered a few year back, are also known that contains natural methane gas inside. This new fuel type can be found at the ocean floor near those two country’s coastlines.


Media, as presses and tv, send out messenges about this new material can be the solution to the energy problem of many nations. However, little of them know, that using this new type of fossil fuel can lead to a environmental disaster of methane, or, a Methane Monster.

Associated Press (AP) stated, in May 4th, near the Shima Peninsula, a drilling squad in Japan successed in extracted methane hydrate. A short moment later, China also annouced that a team of them has also done the same in the South China Sea, with Chinese Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming, attended at the event, annouced as this could be an oppurtunity could start a “Global energy revolution”.

Organic matter decomposing under the ocean floor causes Methane hydrate. Because of its feature that can be lit on fire, this new fuel has a nickname called “combustible ice”. And it is one of the world’s richest fossil fuels.

According to AP reports, there’s an amount of 280 trillion cubic meters (10,000 trillion cubic feet) to 2,800 trillion cubic meters (100,000 trillion cubic feet) is trapped under permafrost and seas around the world’s continental shelves-meaning the fuel could supplies gas demands for about 80 to 8000 years, at current utilization. For an comparable illustration, total gas production all over the world was 3.5 billiion cubic meters (124 billion cubic feet) in 2015.

The U.S, Canada, India and South Korea are also joining to race developing this new fossils fuel. Even the U.S. Energy Department also has pumped millions into researchings.

But they should becareful, because there’s always risks. First of all, it can be costly and difficuld. For example, Japan has thrown approximately $700 million in methane-hadreate R&D over the past years, and gotten only $16,000 woth of this gas in return. In 2013, due to the clogging of the ocean floor’s sand into their machines, Japan pulled of the extracting projects.

And although we always consider carbon dioxide as the villain guilty for climate change, but methane hydrate is even a much bigger bad guy, only about 23 times more as a heat-trapping gas. Under any circumstances, methane leaked during the extraction procedure, it would dramaticaly increase the greenhouse gas effect at the current time on Earth.

It is allready troublematic that the temperatures’s rise are melting the ices of the poles. Now, some nations decided to drill even deeper into the ground search for something even far more dangerous fuel that possibly would cause the global warming worse.


In an interview with the AP, David Sandalow, a former senior official with the U.S. State Department , that this new kind of fuel could take over the position of the renewables fuels like solar and wind power as the new type of everybody new favourite. Sound troublesome in conclusion, isnt it.