As per South China Morning Post (SCMP), the total figure and the 287,000 extracted on one single day would both constitute world records. The gas was extracted from a northerly section of the waterway at a depth of about 1,225m from February 17 to March 18. Beijing’s Ministry of Natural Resources described the trial as a “solid technical foundation for commercial exploitation”.
They added China was the first country in the world to extract gas using a horizontal well-drilling technique.
Gas hydrates are also known as flammable ice.
When extracted, it is believed one cubic metre of gas hydrates releases 164 cubic metres of natural gas.
That ratio would put China’s figure at 141,269,600 cubic metres.
The test comes as global oil and gas price plunge.
China, the world’s largest exporter of both, has sought alternative sources for economic security.
Addressing SCMP Yang Fuqiang, a senior energy adviser at the National Resources Defence Council, said: “The demand for natural gas is large and the prospect is promising, but it’s hard to say when China will have commercial development of flammable ice.”
Beijing has set a target for 10 percent of the annual energy consumption to be from natural gas by the end of 2020.
It is hoped the move would make it easier for the Navy to navigate around the island chains.
Drones and mobile anti-ship guns are understood to be part of the plans.
They are believed to have designed specifically to combat China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Li Jie, a Beijing based naval expert, explained: “Such a plan will help the Marines to meet the new requirements of modern battles involved in multi-domain [in the air, ground, maritime, space and cyberspace] in both competition and armed conflict, which will definitely cause great threats to Chinese navy and air force.”
Commandant General David Berger told the Wall Street Journal: “China, in terms of military capability, is the pacing threat.
“If we did nothing, we would be passed.”
Zhou Chenming, another Beijing based expert, said: “As the special force of a superpower, the US Marines has adjusted its operational system since the Gulf war in the early 1990s, with heavy armoured vehicles such as the M1A1 main battle tanks being deployed to Middle East battlefields.”
“Now they really need to trim the sizes of both weapon and combat units if they are going to fight as littoral forces under multi-domain operations.”
The United States has in the past sent patrols into the disputed waterway, to the anger of China.