China announced on Monday it had completed its first combustible ice mining trial, which was carried out non-stop over 60 days and saw the extraction of a total of over 300,000 cubic metres of gas.
Both figures exceeded expectations and set new world records, the Ministry of Land and Resources told a reporter from China News Service.
The Ministry also revealed that the highest daily production can reach as high as 35,000 cubic metres and 99.5 percent of the mined gas content is methane. It indicates that the newly extractable form of energy is a cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuel.
In a first for the country, China claimed in May to have successfully extracted gas from so-called combustible ice or methane hydrate and converted it to natural gas in a single, continuous operation on a floating platform in the Shenhu area of South China Sea, about 300 km southeast from Hong Kong.
In addition to China, Japan, the US, Canada, South Korea and India have all launched massive, expensive projects to study and mine combustible ice in recent years. However the industry consensus is that commercial-scale production is still years away.