Several years ago the 3Yen reported on Japanese interest in methane hydrates in: Ice-that-burns reserves of natural gas off the coast of Japan (3Yen | 2/21/2006).
Back then in 2006, Japan had just discovered and started to explore its new fart fuel—Methane—in the frozen methane hydrates in the deep ocean trenches of the nation’s Pacific coast.
Now, Japan is announcing a breakthrough in farty resource recovery…
An Energy Coup for Japan
NYTimes.com / March 12, 2013
Japan said Tuesday that it had extracted gas from offshore deposits of methane hydrate — sometimes called “flammable ice” — a breakthrough that officials and experts said could be a step toward tapping a promising but still little-understood energy source.
The gas, whose extraction from the undersea hydrate reservoir was thought to be a world first, could provide an alternative source of energy to known oil and gas reserves. That could be crucial especially for Japan, which is the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas…more…
Sadly, mining methane hydrate destroys the fragile habitat of the deep ocean bottom, and even worse it releases methane with twenty times of power as a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere of global warming planet. The sudden release of large amounts of natural gas from methane hydrate (aka methane clathrate) deposits has been hypothesized as a cause of past and possibly future climate changes. Events possibly linked in this way are the Permian-Triassic extinction event and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, meh. (Wikipedia)