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Research is focused on understanding the physical and chemical nature of gas hydrate-bearing sediments. These studies advance the understanding of the in situ nature of GHBS and their potential response in terms of fluid flow and geomechanical response to destabilizing forces. The latest research results from DOE projects, both current and completed, can be found on the NETL website. These include:
- Gas Hydrate Characterization in the Gulf of Mexico, Scripps Institute of Oceanography: Investigates the feasibility of using marine electromagnetic (EM) surveying as a tool for characterizing and quantifying the occurrence of hydrate in the seafloor section.
- Electrical Resistivity Investigation of Gas Hydrate Distribution in Mississippi Canyon Block, Baylor University: Will evaluate the direct-current electrical resistivity (DCR) method for remotely detecting and characterizing the concentration of gas hydrates in the deep marine environment.
- Gas Hydrate Research in Deep Sea Sediments, Naval Research Lab: Develops and tests a bottom-mounted seismic source for mapping gas hydrates in marine environments.
- Detection and Production of Methane Hydrate, Rice University: Investigates the local and regional variations in methane hydrate deposits, where differences in in situ concentrations are relevant to the importance of gas hydrate as a resource, a geohazard, and a factor in the carbon cycle.
- Heat Flow and Gas Hydrates on the Continental Margin of India, University of Oregon: Investigate the relationship of residual heat flow anomalies to fluid flow and gas hydrate distribution in the subsurface.
- Mechanisms Leading to Co-existence of Gas and Hydrate in Ocean Sediments, University of Texas at Austin: understand the manner in which methane is transported within the Hydrate Stability Zone (HSZ) and consequently, the growth behavior of methane hydrates at both the grain scale and bed scale.
- Methane Recovery from Hydrate-bearing Sediments, Georgia Institute of Technology: Develops observational and experimental data relative to the basic mechanisms at work in a methane hydrate reservoir that is under production.
- Natural Gas Hydrates in Permafrost and Marine Settings: Resources, Properties, and Environmental Issues, US Geological Survey: assist in characterizing and modeling arctic and marine methane hydrates, and participate in design and execution of field studies.
Modeling activities are centered on a multi-national effort to optimize computer codes for simulating methane hydrate reservoir behavior. The Code Comparison Study compares the results of simulations of field and laboratory data sets by several commercial and public methane hydrate reservoir simulators. This allows for improvement in the models and also generates a repository of simulations of hydrate formation and dissociation behavior. Research at DOE national labs provides laboratory data on methane hydrate formation and dissociation that is used to enhance the models.
- Laboratory Studies in Support of Characterization of Recoverable Resources from Methane Hydrate Deposits, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: Studies in support of reservoir simulation include hydrologic measurements, combined geomechanical/geophysical measurements, and synthetic hydrate formation studies.
- Formation and Dissociation of Methane Hydrates, National Energy Technology Lab: Validates results from reservoir simulations relative to hydrate re-formation during gas production, gas migration within hydrate-bearing sediments, and carbon dioxide-methane exchange within sediments.