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Wealth of 'flammable ice' untapped under the sea

Updated: 2014-02-13 08:27
By Lyu Chang ( China Daily)

Locked within frozen rock under the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and deep beneath the South China Sea, methane hydrate, also known as "flammable ice", is called the king of all energies.

With its potential reserves twice as much as fossil fuel, this new source of natural gas, often trapped in ice-like crystals under high pressure in permafrost or under the seabed, can make China's sizable shale gas prospects look small.

Research data showed that one cubic meter of pure methane hydrate can be depressurized and warmed to produce about 160 cubic meters of methane gas.

Wealth of 'flammable ice' untapped under the sea