Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES), one of major heavy industry manufacturers in Japan, has partnered MHWirth, a global provider of drilling solutions and services, to harvest shallow methane hydrates from the seabed of the Japan Sea.
Methane hydrates generally are categorized as either shallow-type or pore-filling sand-layer type. For pore-filling sand-layer methane hydrates, the studies for the recovery have been conducted since around FY2001 in Japan.
For shallow methane hydrates (the hydrates), Japan’s Government Agency started the estimation of its possibility in FY2013.
The surveys for the amount of the hydrates were carried out from FY2013 to FY2015.
They revealed that there were 1,742 gas chimney structures in the Japan Sea.
Now, as the study concerning harvesting technology for the hydrates, the national project was launched in FY2016. MES has joined it with MHWirth and other partners.
MES has wide range experiences of R&D on behaviors of gas hydrates and manufacturing of floating facilities.
MHWirth has significant expertise for subsea mining technology and offshore drilling systems including services.
This powerful collaboration will pave the way for the success of the hydrates harvesting.
In addition, MODEC, Inc. (MODEC), a leading specialist for Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) systems for the offshore oil and gas production, will participate in the collaboration at the future stage to contribute toward the hydrate commercial harvesting with their established technology and long experience in the offshore business.