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China succeeds in mining combustible ice in South China Sea

2017/5/19 14:29:40         Author:ARIT Planning Center         Source:ARIT Planning Center

GUANGZHOU, May 18 (Xinhua) -- China has succeeded in collecting samples of combustible ice in the South China Sea, a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution, Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming said Thursday.


This is China's first success in mining flammable ice at sea, after nearly two decades of research and exploration, the minister said at a trial mining site in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea Thursday.


Combustible ice usually exists in seabed or tundra areas, which have the strong pressure and low temperature necessary for its stability. It can be ignited like solid ethanol, which is why it is called "combustible ice."


One cubic meter of "combustible ice", a kind of natural gas hydrate, is equal to 164 cubic meters of regular natural gas.


China found flammable ice in the South China Sea in 2007.


International scientific circles have predicted that the natural gas hydrate is the best replacement for oil and natural gas.


According to Zhong Ziran, head of the China Geological Survey Bureau, combustible ice is more environmentally friendly and large reserves exist.