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In addition, there is a large, but unknown, amount of methane in methane clathrates in the ocean floors. Global warming could release this methane, which could cause a further sharp rise in global temperatures. Such releases of methane may have been a major factor in previous major extinction events.
The scale of the resource is spectacular. By some estimates, methane hydrates contain more energy content than all other known fossil fuels combined.
Two small areas located roughly 200 miles off the coast of Charleston, S.C., contain enough methane to meet the country's gas needs for more than a century. And this is only one of at least two dozen similar reservoirs discovered in U.S. coastal waters since the early 1970s. www.cbc.ca...
Japan has begun its search for a new potential fuel source – and the demand has the potential to re-shape the energy market.
Two state-owned companies have begun work on prospective natural gas drill sites off the coast of Japan.
The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation are drilling in separate locations for methane hydrate – a form of semi-solid natural gas.
If successful, Japan would be the owner of the world’s first seabed methane hydrate production. asiancorrespondent.com...
Researchers say they have found more than 500 bubbling methane vents on the seafloor off the US east coast. The unexpected discovery indicates there are large volumes of the gas contained in a type of sludgy ice called methane hydrate. There are concerns that these new seeps could be making a hitherto unnoticed contribution to global warming. The scientists say there could be about 30,000 of these hidden methane vents worldwide. Previous surveys along the Atlantic seaboard have shown only three seep areas beyond the edge of the US continental shelf.