China said it had found gas hydrates on the Tibetan Plateau worth 35 billion tons of oil in energy. Before that gas hydrates had been discovered on land only in Canada and the United States. China will be able to harvest and use the hydrate gas in about 10 years, reported China’s official China Daily online Sep 25, citing China Radio International's website, gb.cri.cn.
The finding of the hydrates, also known as combustible ice, was announced by China’s Ministry of Land and Resources at a press conference Sep 25. The official China Daily online Sep 26 said the hydrates were found in the permanently frozen subsoil to the south of Qilian Mountain in Qilan County (Tibetan: Chilen or Dola) County of Haibei (Tibetan: Tsojang) Prefecture, Qinghai province.
Combustible ice is said to be made of crystallized solids formed when water, methane and other substances interact under low-temperature and high-pressure conditions, effectively freezing gas molecules inside water molecules.