Salient to Investors:

Japan and India, Asia’s biggest energy consumers after China, are closer to unlocking natural gas deposits trapped in ice below the seabed that may prove bigger than the world’s known fossil-fuel reserves.

Shale is found in only certain parts of the globe, carbon frozen with water – methane hydrates – is found under most sea beds.

Will Pearson at Eurasia Group said methane hydrates are everywhere and if the technology is developed, it will alter the gas market and extend this golden age of gas.

The US Geological Survey said carbon deposits in hydrates may be double the size of all known oil, gas and coal reserves.

Tomoo Suzuki at Tokyo Institute of Technology said methane hydrate could give Japan more energy independence provided it is economically viable to extract.

Methane is about 10 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Nathan Piper at RBC Capital Markets said countries that highlight the opportunity are those with limited oil and gas production, while gas hydrates remain challenging due in part to the offshore location.

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