China’s upstream watchdog, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), is pushing ahead with a plan to spud a third gas hydrate well in the South China Sea, continuing to explore the unconventional resource before commercial development in 2030.

Over the past year it has been preparing for the third round of “trial mining” of gas hydrates offshore China, and has completed seismic and environmental surveys in targeted waters of the South China Sea as well as the geological engineering of the new gas hydrate well, according to its website.