• Methane Hydrate Accumulations
  • Gas Hydrate Characteristics
  • Gas Hydrate Utilization
  • Methane Decomposition to C and H2
  • Biomass Utilization
  • Solar Energy and Others

methane hydrate burning

Methane Hydrate Burning

   The CHAOS (hydro-Carbon Hydrate Accumulations in Okhotsk Sea) and SSGH (Sakhalin Slope Gas Hydrate) projects were designed and performed by collaboration efforts among Japanese, Russian, Belgium, Germany and Korean researchers.

   The Lake Baikal project successfully retrieved sediment cores which contain methane hydrate crystals in layered/massive forms.


   The New Energy Resources Research Center (NER) was established in Kitami Institute of Technology (KIT) for research and development of methane hydrate and other new energy resources on 1 April 2001, and grew to the Environmental and Energy Resources Research Center (ERC) in 2012.



- All Russia Research Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the
   Ocean, St. Petersburg (Memorandum of Intentions in December, 2001)

- P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, Moscow

- Limnological Institute, SB RAS, Irkutsk
   (Memorandum of Understanding in August, 2002)

- V. I. Il'ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok
   (Memorandum of Agreement in October, 2002)


- Renard Center of Marine Geology, Ghent University, Gent
   (Memorandum of Understanding in August, 2002)

- International Bureau of Envilonmental Sciences
   (Memorandum of Understanding in August, 2002)


- GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences, Kiel

- Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Sciences, Bremerhaven


- Korea Polar Research Institute, KORDI, Seoul


hydro-Carbon Hydrate Accumulations
in the Sea of Okhotsk (CHAOS) Project

   The aim of the project is to evaluate the distribution, the amount and the nature of near-sea-bottom hydrate deposits and explain the role of the fluid discharge for the hydrate formation. Two target areas were investigated. Area 1 is located in the northeastern part of the Sakhalin slope, Okhotsk Sea, where intensive gas seepage is documented. In an area of 200 km2, more than forty seepage structures were identified by side-scan-sonar survey. Coring in three structures showed that they define the zones of hydrate accumulation related to fluid discharge. Area 2 is located in the northeastern slope, where huge barite mineralization reflects discharge of barium-bearing and gas-saturated fluid at the sea floor.

Okhotsk Sea
(Study Site marked)

Methane Hydrate Crystals
in a sediment core
(white parts)

Lake Baikal Project

   Lake Baikal is one of the world's largest rift lakes and the only fresh water basin with proven gas hydrates. Methane hydrate samples for our studies were obtained at the Malenki seep area (1400 m water depth), Southern Baikal Basin by gravity coring from a depth close to the lake floor.

Lake Baikal
(Study Site marked)

Methane Hydrate Crystals
in a sediment core
(white parts)


Crystal Structure of
Methane Hydrate.

Methane Hydrate Stability
Zone (HSZ) in sea water
and submarine sediment.


Prof. Hirotsugu MINAMI (Director)
Prof. Akihiro HACHIKUBO


Environmental and Energy Resources Research Center
Kitami Institute of Technology

165 Koen-cho, Kitami 090-8507, Japan
Phone/Fax: +81-157-26-9441 (H. Minami)