Energy Department Advances Research on Methane Hydrates – the World’s Largest Untapped Fossil Energy ....announced the selection of 14 new research projects across 11 states that will be a part of an expanding portfolio of projects designed to increase our understanding of methane hydrates’
PoliticalNews.me - Sep 02,2012 - Energy Department Advances Research on Methane Hydrates – the World’s Largest Untapped Fossil Energy Resource
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Energy Department announced the selection of 14 new research projects across 11 states that will be a part of an expanding portfolio of projects designed to increase our understanding of methane hydrates’ potential as a future energy supply. Methane hydrates are 3D ice-lattice structures with natural gas locked inside, and are found both onshore and offshore – including under the Arctic permafrost and in ocean sediments along nearly every continental shelf in the world. Today’s projects build on the completion of a successful, unprecedented test earlier this year that was able to safely extract a steady flow of natural gas from methane hydrates on the North Slope of Alaska. Find more information on methane hydrates HERE.
“The Energy Department’s long term investments in shale gas research during the 70s and 80s helped pave the way for today’s boom in domestic natural gas production that is strengthening U.S. energy security while creating thousands of American jobs,” said Secretary Chu. “While research on methane hydrates is still in the early stages, these research efforts as part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy could potentially yield significant new supplies of natural gas and further expand U.S. energy supplies.”
The research announced today will advance our understanding of the nature and occurrence of deepwater and arctic gas hydrates and their implications for future resource development and environmental performance. While prior Energy Department research and outside studies have confirmed that the resource volume present appears to be substantial and the accumulations that can be explored for and produced using existing technologies are potentially numerous, significant research remains to (1) analyze the role of gas hydrates in the natural environment (2) demonstrate that gas hydrates can be produced commercially in an environmentally responsible manner and, (3) further assess resource volumes, particularly in deepwater settings.
These new projects, managed by the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, will focus research on field programs for deepwater hydrate characterization, the response of methane hydrate systems to changing climates, and advances in the understanding of gas-hydrate-bearing deposits.
The following projects have been selected for award negotiations.
Characterizing the Affect of Environmental Change on Gas-Hydrate-Bearing Deposits
The University of California at San Diego (San Diego, Calif.) — Researchers at the University of California at San Diego will design, build, and test an electromagnetic (EM) system designed for very shallow water use and will apply the system to determine the extent of offshore permafrost on the U.S. Beaufort inner shelf.
Energy Department Investment: $507,000
Duration: 36 months
The University of Mississippi (Oxford, Miss.) — Using electronic measurements, the researchers will investigate variations in hydrate system dynamics beneath hydrate-bearing mounds on the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico in response to changes in local environmental conditions.
Energy Department Investment: $420,000
Duration: 12 months
University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.) — The University of New Hampshire will study the dynamic response of gas