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Sunday, 4 October 2009

China prudent over tapping combustible ice

China will put environmental concerns as top priority in tackling ways to exploit combustible ice, a kind of natural gas hydrate, in the permanent tundra in its northwest plateau region, said a combustible ice project leader.

"We do not need to drill very deep to get the flammable frozen compound from tundra here in Muli Prefecture in Qinghai province. However, as the sample is taken out, methane gas is easily released into the atmosphere," said Wen Huaijun, chief engineer of the combustible ice project in Qinghai.

He said the project team under the China National Administration of Coal Geology is carrying out research to guarantee that the exploitation of the frozen natural gas does not cause environmental problems.

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