Methane hydrate is the world’s largest natural gas resource. Japanese engineers recently became the first to produce methane hydrate from a well in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. NPR asks if this could become another natural gas boom?
Japan Petroleum Exploration Company plans to produce 20,000 barrels per day of bitumen from their Hangingstone oil sands project in Alberta Province, Canada. The project will use the steam-assisted gravity drainage method and will be increased to 30,000 barrels per day based upon performance.
“New Caltech research suggests creeping faults can turn destructive which could explain the unexpectedly large 2011 earthquake in Japan and give new insight on potential future quakes along the San Andreas Fault. In contrast to some current theories, the research suggests that earthquake ruptures might not stop at creeping fault segments—which are considered stable—instead activating the supposedly stable segments and triggering a bigger quake with more destructive power across a large area.” Quoted from a Caltech media release.
Both China and Japan claim they own the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. But China has just submitted geological evidence to the United Nations that they believe will prove their ownership.
USGS has published “Tohoku-Oki Earthquake Tsunami Runup and Inundation Data for Sites Around the Island of Hawai‘i“. It contains a number of maps, photos and descriptions of tsunami damage on the island.
An interview on Platts Commodity Plus program explores how hydrocarbons might be fueling the dispute between Japan and China over islands in the East China Sea and possible compromises that offer a solution.
Lots of natural gas on Alaska’s North Slope does not have a route to market. Three major oil companies are planning to build a pipeline south to the Gulf of Alaska where an LNG plant will prepare it for export to Asia.
“On September 27, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Jelawat was located about 410 nautical miles south-southwest of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 135 knots and gusts up to 165 knots.” Quoted from NASA Earth Observatory.
The East China Sea is thought to contain more natural gas than all of Europe. This is the reason why adjacent countries are engaged in vigorous disputes over uninhabited islands. Each of those islands has an exclusive economic zone that extends far beyond its coastline.
Rocky, uninhabited islands that have been infrequently thought about in the past are now getting a lot of attention thanks to the potential exclusive economic zone (meaning claim to oil, natural gas, gas hydrate, mineral and biological resources) that might surround them under the United Nations treaty known as the “Law of the Sea”. This video on the CNN site features two island clusters that have triggered international squabbles – multiple nations declare that they own them.
Squabblers: The map at right is a public domain document from the CIA Factbook. If you don’t like the names that are used on it write to the CIA, not to us.
“Three of the largest and deadliest earthquakes in recent history occurred where earthquake hazard maps didn’t predict massive quakes. A University of Missouri scientist and his colleagues recently studied the reasons for the maps’ failure to forecast these quakes.” Quoted from the University of Missouri press release.
Seth Stein is Deering Professor of Geological Sciences at Northwestern makes a presentation on this study in the video below.
Dave Petley reports on four recent landslides with spectacular images and a video. One is the massive slide from Mount Lituya in Glacier Bay National Park. Others are the Johnson Landing slide in British Columbia, the Hubbard Glacier fjord slide, and the slide at Minamiaso, Japan.
“Japan is one of the largest energy consumers in the world, and relies heavily on fossil fuel imports to meet its energy requirements. The Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011 could shift the country’s energy mix and place more emphasis on oil and natural gas imports.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration press release.
“In March, the US, European Union, and Japan formally requested that the World Trade Organization (WTO) launch an investigation into China’s rare earth export policy.” Quoted from the Rare Earth Investing News.
“Altough the Tohoku quake did not occur in the United States or its territories, it was one of the most thoroughly recorded seismic events of its magnitude and provides valuable information to U.S. scientists seeking to understand how similar events would affect this Nation.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
Small devices that monitor motion in three directions will be installed in buildings to gather data during Japan’s small earthquakes. The data will be used to determine how the building might be damaged in a large earthquake.
This recording of the 2011 Japanese earthquake was taken near the coastline of Japan between Fukushima Daiichi (the nuclear reactor site) and Tokyo. The initial blast of sound is the 9.0 mainshock. As the earth’s plates slipped dozens of meters into new positions, aftershocks occurred. They are indicated by “pop” noises immediately following the mainshock sound. These plate adjustments will likely continue for years. Created by Zhigang Peng, associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
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