China has extracted about 210,000 cu m of natural gas from combustible ice in the South China Sea, the Guangzhou Marine Geological Bureau said last Saturday.
A month has passed since tests on extracting combustible ice began in waters near the Pearl River estuary, according to the Bureau.
"The process of gas production is smooth, and we are laying the foundation for the next step," a statement issued by the bureau said.
Ye Jianliang, head of the bureau, said strict measures have been taken to protect the environment.
"We are monitoring the air, sea water, seabed and the exploration equipment. We also closely follow the amount of methane and carbon dioxide," he said, adding that no pollution to the environment or geological hazards had happened so far.
One cubic meter of combustible ice, a kind of natural gas hydrate, is equal to 164 cu m of regular natural gas.
International scientists have predicted that natural gas hydrate is the best replacement for oil and natural gas.