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Methane Hydrate Extraction Market Overview
The methane hydrate extraction market size is forecast to reach US$11.2 billion by 2027 after growing at a CAGR of 6.1% during 2022-2027. Methane hydrate, also known as methane clathrate, fiery ice or the natural gas hydrate is a solid compound in which methane gas is trapped. According to data by the U.S. Department of Energy, one cubic meter of methane hydrate releases 164 cubic meters of natural gas, making it a future source of energy. The market is in a nascent stage as the commercialization of methane hydrate is still under process. Increasing R&D activities are carried out in selected countries and this is expected to contribute to the market’s growth in the forecast period. For instance, as per the data by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Energy Process Research Institute (EPRI) was established in April 2020 for R&Ds in exploring energy resources like methane hydrate in Japan. Furthermore, advancement in technologies for efficient extraction of methane hydrate is increasing and this, in turn, is expected to propel the market’s growth in the forecast period. For instance, as per the January 2020 report by National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), multiple techniques for the production of natural gas from methane hydrate are evaluated with a simple depressurization technique indicating the most promise for yielding viable production rates. Methane hydrates reside in sea-floor sediments and permafrost and their extraction involves a risky procedure that might affect the market’s growth in the forecast period.
The methane hydrate extraction market was affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic as multiple challenges such as supply chain scarcity and the idling of factories surfaced. The players in the market adopted several measures to maintain a steady extraction operation during the pandemic. For instance, as per the April 2020 COVID-19 report by INPEX, the company had to mobilize the necessary workforce to carry out standard and safe operations. Going forward, the market is expected to exhibit significant growth owing to increasing R&D activities.
Methane Hydrate Extraction Market – By Source
Seabed dominated the methane hydrate extraction market in 2021. The majority of methane hydrate in the world occurs in continental slopes in the sea with sufficient organic matter accumulating on the bottom. This allows governments and companies to explore and expand methane extraction at a large scale. Many countries are actively taking steps forward for the extraction of methane hydrate from the seabed. For instance, as per the June 2020 journal by Oxford Academic, China is prioritizing technological development aspects to explore offshore methane clathrate present under the mud of the seabed. Such increasing exploration and utilization of seabed is projected to increase its demand as the primary source for extracting methane hydrate in the forecast period.
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Methane Hydrate Extraction Market – By Geography
The Asia-Pacific region held the largest market share in the methane hydrate extraction market in 2021, up to 32%. The high demand for methane hydrate extraction is attributed to the region’s increasing R&D activities towards natural gas production from natural gas hydrate. China is one of the leading markets in methane hydrate extraction and going forward, the country is all set for the commercial exploitation of methane hydrate. For instance, as per the November 2021 report by Eos.org, China is leading the way with the possibility of commercial extraction of methane expected to start between 2030 to 2040. Japan is another large market that is projected to witness robust demand for methane hydrate extraction in the forecast period owing to the rising activities related to natural gas production from methane hydrate extraction. The country has set its eyes on conducting more tests and expanding its methane hydrate extraction portfolio in the coming years. The report by Eos.org states that Japan is expected to play an important role in taking methane hydrate extraction to a commercial level in the future. Such increasing R&D activities in the region is expected to increase the demand for methane hydrate extraction during the forecast period.
Methane Hydrate Extraction Market Drivers
Increasing R&Ds will contribute to the market’s growth
The methane hydrate extraction is yet to achieve the commercial level status and accordingly many countries are actively expanding their research and development activities to make the extraction of natural gas hydrate or fiery ice, commercially viable and this is expected to drive the market’s growth in the forecast period. For instance, as per the Vision 2030 report by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, research and studies are being undertaken in the Indian Ocean for the establishment of potential natural gas hydrates. Similarly, as per the September 2019 report by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), USGS scientists participated in the methane gas hydrate pressure coring project in the Gulf of Mexico. Such increasing activities by multiple research organizations and governing bodies is expected to pave the path for the efficient extraction of methane hydrates, contributing to the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Advancement in technology will drive the market’s growth
Technological advancement is shaping up quite strongly to locate and perform enhanced extraction of methane hydrates in the world. Methane clathrate reservoirs are entirely different from conventional gas reservoirs and require advanced technology to produce natural gas from methane hydrates. Many countries are developing advanced technology systems to achieve the goal of making methane hydrate extraction commercially viable and this is expected to drive the growth’s market in the forecast period. For instance, as per the March 2021 article by ScienceDaily, members at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories developed a new system for finding methane hydrate in a region of North Carolina. Similarly, as per the August 2019 science journal by Nature, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras developed an advanced methane hydrate extraction technique for use in shallow sediments along continental coastlines. Such development of technologies regarding the safe extraction of methane hydrate is expected to contribute to the growth of the market during the forecast period.
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Methane Hydrate Extraction Market Challenges
Risky methane hydrate extraction procedure might hamper the market’s growth
The extraction of methane hydrate involves a risky and complicated process which has been a key challenge and this might hamper the market’s growth in the forecast period. Methane hydrate extraction tests conducted by multiple governing bodies revealed drilling issues and environmental hazards related to the process. Research organizations and market players are constantly looking for a safe way of extracting methane hydrates to avoid such challenges. As per the December 2020 methane hydrate advisory committee report by the U.S. Department of Energy, borehole stability issues while drilling through and operational hazards of gas flow are some of the key challenges that need to be addressed in international field tests. Such a critical and risky extraction process might hamper the market’s growth during the forecast period.
Methane Hydrate Extraction Market Industry Outlook
Investment in R&D activities, acquisitions, product and technology launches are key strategies adopted by players in the methane hydrate extraction market. Global methane hydrate extraction top 10 companies include:
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