China is researching methane hydrate exploration in the South China Sea, China News Service reported Saturday, citing the government. It is only the fourth country to undertake the activity after the United States, Japan and India. Up to 180 cubic meters of natural gas can be extracted from one cubic meter of methane hydrate, also known as fire ice. However, commercial exploration will take some time due to outstanding environmental issues, the report said. These include potential destabilization of the sea bed which could affect atmospheric conditions, it said.
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