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China completed its first test exploration of natural gas hydrate on May 18, 2017. The successful drilling of natural gas hydrate in the South China Sea is a breakthrough toward a global energy revolution, said Lu hailong, the chief scientist in the first drilling trails from Peking University Institute of Ocean Research and College of Engineering.
Professor Lu Hailong on the test drilling platform
China has pledged to push further ahead with the exploration of natural gas hydrate in the South China Sea. Natural gas hydrate, is a solid clathrate compound in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure of water, forming a solid similar to ice. Therefore, it is also called "combustible ice" because it looks like ice and can be burnt easily. This is a clean environmental friendly energy with high energy density. After 1 cubic meter of natural gas hydrate is decomposed, it can release about 0.8 cubic meters of water and 164 cubic meters of natural gas. The South China Sea is the most important distribution area of natural gas hydrate in China.
Peking University is one of four core units of this time natural gas hydrate test exploration Project. Peking University undertakes research tasks related to the techniques and College of Engineering, School of Earth and Space Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University Institute of Ocean Research provide technical support and make great contributions to the drilling project.
Professor Lu Hailong is engaged in the survey and preparation before this time test exploration. He proposed a novel natural gas hydrate drilling technology method called Stratigraphic Fluid Extraction Method considering the reservoir features of natural gas hydrate in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, he conducted a new natural gas hydrate production process and instructed in the drilling work on natural gas physical properties and production capacity simulation. Professor Lu Hailong played a crucial role in this successful test exploration.
Professor Lu Hailong
Teng Yihua, a graduate student from Peking University Institute of Ocean Research & College of Engineering joint training program is a member of the simulation team of the test exploration project. The simulation of the production capacity provided significance for pressure decreasing.
Facing the challenging conditions and concerns of environmental pollution, China has become the front-runner in natural gas hydrate drilling technology around the world. Most of my life has passed, and I would like to do more for my country, said Lu Hailong. He devoted all his life to learn natural gas in depth, and this time test exploration allows him to serve the country.
Besides, Lu Hailong founded a research team and established corresponding laboratory composed of scientists from various disciplines including geochemistry, geology, geophysics, microbiology, mechanics, physics, and numerical simulation of oil and gas production at Peking University. This laboratory provides theoretical study and application research of natural gas hydrate and lays the foundation for commercial development and utilization.