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08:20 Mar 10 2010

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Early exploration urged of combustible ice on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
08:19, March 10, 2010  

China should step up efforts to explore and conduct research on the combustible ice, a potential source of alternative energy to coal and oil, found on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

The proposal was made by Bao Yizhi, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Bao said that the reserve of the combustible ice on China's land is estimated at an equivalent of 35 billion tons of crude oil and can be used for 90 years in China.

The combustible ice was found in the permafrost area last year at the middle and low altitudes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is the third exploration announced in the world that such an energy source has been found on land, said Bao,also vice chairman of the Qinghai Provincial Committee of the CPPCC.

The amount of such ice in Qinghai alone makes up one fourth of the country's total reserve. One cubic meter of such ice can release 164 cubic meters of natural gas. As the protection, exploration and use of the new energy source will be the focus of research in various countries, he proposed that China redouble its efforts in this regard.

Though the reserve of the ice on the plateau still needs to be verified, Bao suggested that a research center on natural gas hydrate should be set up to manage and coordinate combustible ice-related research.

As the combustible ice on the plateau is buried near the ground surface, it is easier to explore it than that such ice discovered at sea. Therefore, he indicated that early exploration of the new energy source should begin on a trial basis to provide a scientific research platform for the future exploration.

Source: Xinhuanet

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