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Resources and Environment Policies

Achievements in utilization of combustible ice in foreign countries

By Guo Jiaofeng, Gao Shiji, Li Weiming, Hong Tao, Wu Xu, Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies, Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), and Zhang Haiqi, Zhu Youhai, and Tang Jinrong, China Geological Survey

Research report No 61, 2014 (Total No 4560)


There is a large amount of combustible ice for high-quality energy that is efficient, clean, and low-carbon, and has been seen a potential alternative energy source for the future. There is a nearly 50-year history of the development of combustible ice in foreign countries. In 2012, the US succeeded in replacing methane with carbon dioxide on the continental slope of Alaska and, a year later, Japan managed to exploit combustible ice in a trough of its southern sea area. And then major countries with combustible ice began paying greater attention to the exploitation of this resource. But, even though China made a breakthrough in exploitation in the South China Sea, in 2013, it encountered many problems in its backward technology and laws and regulations. Major countries with combustible ice have placed more importance on combustible ice exploitation, by improving laws and regulations, formulating development plans, doing R&D on key technologies, and increasing support and government investment, giving them valuable experience, which China could learn from.