Basic policy
Goals
Schedule
MH21 Consortium
Titles of related organizations
   

A document entitled "Japan's Methane Hydrate Exploitation Program" was published in July 2001. This plan was prepared over one year by the Advisory Committee for National Methane Hydrate Exploitation Program, an investigative committee within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, led by Tokyo University Professor Emeritus Shoichi Tanaka. The purpose of this plan was to establish Japan as a world leader in research in harnessing methane hydrate as an energy resource.

Basic policy

The basic policy outlined in "Japan's Methane Hydrate Exploitation Program" is given below.

"The project is intended to promote technical development for economical drilling, production and recovery of methane hydrate, and to facilitate its utilization and contribution to the long-term stable energy supply. The project defines methane hydrate as a future energy resource that is expected to exist in large amounts offshore around Japan."


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Goals

The goals outlined in "Japan's Methane Hydrate Exploitation Program" are given below:

1. Understand the conditions and features of methane hydrate existing offshore around Japan.
2. Estimate the amount of methane gas in the hydrated area.
3. Select methane hydrate resource fields from the potential sea areas and study their economic feasibility.
4. Implement methane hydrate production tests in the selected resource fields.
5. Develop technologies for commercial production.
6. Establish the exploitation system considering environmental preservation.

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Schedule
"Japan's Methane Hydrate Exploitation Program" is divided into three phases, extending over 16 years. These phases are detailed below:

Phase I (fiscal 2001-2008)

With the development of basic researches (survey techniques, fundamental physical properties, dissociation/generation technology, etc.) to:

- Optimize methane hydrate research technologies.

- Identify potential methane hydrate fields in sea areas and evaluate its resources.

- Select methane hydrate resource field for offshore production test in Phase II.

- Through on-shore production test, verify the technology that allows dissociating methane hydrate and recovering methane gas at wellhead.


Phase II (fiscal 2009-2011)

With the development of basic researches (production technologies, environmental impact assessment, etc.) to:

- Evaluate methane hydrate resources in the selected hydrate fields

- Implement offshore production test in the sea off Japan and verify production techniques.


Phase III (fiscal 2012-2016)
Develop the technologies for commercial production and evaluate economic feasibility, environmental impact, etc.


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MH21 Consortium

The Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (official abbreviated title: MH21 Research Consortium) was established to oversee the completion of Phase I of the Basic Policy.

Led by the Project Leader Shoichi Tanaka, Tokyo University Professor Emeritus, MH21 is organized into three main groups: the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan (ENAA). The Steering Committee Meeting was established to oversee the operation of the three groups.


Click on a group for more detailed information.

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Titles of related organizations

[Consortium]
Official title
Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan
Abbreviated title
MH21 Research Consortium
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[Steering Committee Meeting]
Official title
Steering Committee Meeting for Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan
Abbreviated title
MH21 SCM
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[Secretariat]
Official title
Secretariat for Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan
Abbreviated title
Secretariat for MH21
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[Research Groups]
Resources assessment
Research (Group) for Resources Assessment
   
Production method and modeling
Research (Group) for Production Method and Modeling
   
Environmental impact assessment
Research (Group) for Environment Impact
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