Methane hydrate (*1) receives attention as one of the unconventional gas resources in the future.
During the period from FY2001 to FY2008, which is Phase 1 of the “Japan's Methane Hydrate R&D Program” (*2) (Program), seismic surveys and exploitation drillings were conducted at the eastern Nankai
trough, off the coast from Shizuoka-pref. to Wakayama-pref., as the model area, where a considerable
amount of methane hydrate deposits is confirmed (*3).
In Phase 2 of the Program starting from FY2009, aiming to develop a technology to extract natural gas through dissociation of methane hydrate, this is the first offshore test ever conducted (*4).
The first offshore production test is planned over a span of two years. In February and March last year, the preparatory works including drilling a production well and two monitoring wells were conducted. From June to July, the pressured core samples were acquired from methane hydrate layers. In this operation, a flow test through dissociation of methane hydrate is conducted after the preparatory works including drilling and installing equipments for the flow test.