flammable ice

Chinese scientists are mining more than 10,000 cubic meters of “flammable ice” a day, according to Ye Jianliang of the China Geological survey, as was reported by Chinese state media earlier this month.

The frozen fuel, methane hydrate, has proven difficult to extract at a profit in the past, but estimates of worldwide reserves range from 280 trillion cubic meters to 2,800 trillion cubic meters, enough for 200 years of consumption.

PetroChina is the main contractor involved in the breakthrough project and will participate in all stages of process, including commercial production expected before 2030, according to Ivan Tang at Seeking Alpha.

Full-scale extraction of the fuel source would double PetroChina’s annual natural gas production.