The world's first offshore gas production test from methane hydrate deposits was conducted in March 2013, at the test site located on the margin of Daini Atsumi Knoll, off the coasts of Atsumi and Shima peninsulas, in the easten Nankai Trough, of Japan. Approximately 120, 000 cubic meters of methane gas was produced in 6 days using the depressurization technique.

The test was a significant advance in Japan's national program to construct the technical base for future commertial methane hydrate resource development. A series of researches for more than 10 years, including two times of onshore production tests in Mallik field and explorations in eastern Nankai Trough, were required to reach the test.

This report reviews Japan's research history for methane hydrates.

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