Dokdo has recently been touted as a rich repository of natural resources, with massive amounts of gas hydrate, or the so-called “burning ice” worth about 150~200 trillion won, estimated to be buried under water.
Gas hydrate is the solid state of natural gas consisting mainly of methane, found to be tens of times larger than other sources of natural gas. Not only is gas hydrate a great source of energy on its own, but it also serves as an instructive resource that tells us where petroleum resources might lie buried.
In fact, with maps showing where petroleum was found in China and Japan, as well as in the continental shelf in Korea, theories suggest that an oil field stretches northeast from East China Sea to pass the southeastern side of Ulsan and the waters near Dokdo, toward the western coast of Japan. In other words, the area may potentially hold underwater oil reserves.