Energy Resources Program

Energy Resources Program Home

Graphic Banner: Gas Hydrates

Gas Hydrates

News & Recent Publications

Monday, March 24, 2014

Marine Methane Hydrate Field Research Plan

Field Report
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), in partnership with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), initiated a new field-focused methane hydrate research planning effort that would inform, and potentially lead to, future off shore drilling field expeditions.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New seismic data acquired over known gas hydrate occurrences in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico

Outside Publication: Department of Energy-National Energy Technology Laboratory  
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) led seismic acquisition in the Gulf of Mexico from April 18 to May 3, 2013, collecting ocean-bottomseismometer (OBS) and high-resolution 2D data at lease blocks Green Canyon 955 (GC955) and Walker Ridge 313 (WR313). This collaborative effort among the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the USGS was conducted to provide improved imaging and characterization of the known gas hydrate accumulations at these study sites.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Brookian Sequence Well Log Correlation Sections and Occurrence of Gas Hydrates, North-Central North Slope, Alaska

USGS Publication: Scientific Investigations Report
Gas hydrate research has a long history in northern Alaska. This research includes the drilling, coring, and well log evaluation of two gas hydrate stratigraphic test wells and two resource assessments of gas hydrates on the Alaska North Slope. Building upon these previous investigations, this report provides a summary of the pertinent well log, gas hydrate, and stratigraphic data for key wells related to gas hydrate occurrence in the north-central North Slope.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Insight on Gas Hydrates in Gulf of Mexico

Gas Hydrate Expedition in Gulf of Mexico in April and May 2013

Technical Announcement
Scientists returned from a 15‑day research expedition in the northern Gulf of Mexico with the best high-resolution seismic data and imagery ever obtained of sediments with high gas hydrate saturations.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Groundbreaking Gas Hydrate Research

Field Report: USGS Feature Story
A new project in Japan is helping scientists make significant progress in studying gas hydrates as a potential source for natural gas production. This research advances understanding of the global distribution of gas hydrates as well as whether and how methane contained in gas hydrates can be used as a viable energy source.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Scientific Results of the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project Leg II

Outside Publication: Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology
The scientific results of the 2009 Gulf of Mexico Joint Industry Program Leg II Logging-While-Drilling (LWD) expedition have been published as a special issue of the Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology (Volume 34, Issue 1).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Successful Test of Gas Hydrate Production Test Well Ignik Sikumi on Alaska's North Slope

Outside Publication: Department of Energy Press Release
On May 2, 2012 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the completion of the field testing phase of the Ignik Sikumi gas hydrate production test well project on the North Slope of Alaska. The USGS participated in many phases of this work, including originally identifying the test site, which was based on almost 30 years of USGS geologic studies on gas hydrates in northern Alaska.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Korean National Gas Hydrate Program, Second Ulleung Basin Gas Hydrate Drilling Expedition

Field Report
As a part of Korean National Gas Hydrate Program, the Second Ulleung Basin Gas Hydrate Drilling Expedition (UBGH2) was successfully performed by using the D/V Fugro Synergy to establish 13 research drill sites in the period of time from July 8 to September 30, 2010.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well

Field Report
The Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well was drilled within the Alaska North Slope (ANS) Milne Point Unit (MPU) from February 3 to 19, 2007. The well was conducted as part of a Cooperative Research Agreement (CRA) project co-sponsored since 2001 by BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. (BPXA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to help determine whether ANS gas hydrate can become a technically and commercially viable gas resource.



Photo: Burning Gas Hydrate

Photo: Burning Gas Hydrate
(Larger Image).

Gas hydrates are naturally occurring “ice-like” combinations of natural gas and water that have the potential to provide an immense resource of natural gas from the world’s oceans and polar regions.  Gas hydrates are known to be widespread in permafrost regions and beneath the sea in sediments of outer continental margins.  It is generally accepted that the volume of natural gas contained in the world's gas hydrate accumulations greatly exceeds that of known gas reserves.  There is also growing evidence that natural gas can be produced from gas hydrates with existing conventional oil and gas production technology.  The USGS is participating in several international consortia of research, industry, and academic institutions. The USGS also has ongoing cooperative research efforts with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the State of Alaska, the Department of Energy, industry, and Native Alaskan corporations to further the understanding of gas the hydrate endowment and recoverability.

Tim Collett
Lead Scientist


Gas Hydrates
Gas Hydrates in Northern Alaska

Assessment of Gas Hydrate Resources on the North Slope, Alaska

In 2008 USGS completed the first assessment of the undiscovered technically recoverable gashydrate resources on the North Slope of Alaska. Using a geologybased assessment methodology, the USGS estimates that there are about 85 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas resources within gas hydrates in northern Alaska.

[+] Go to Press Release

Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrates Joint Industry Project (JIP)
Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrates

Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project Leg II

On May 6, 2009 a government and industry consortium, lead by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and a group of U.S. and international energy industry companies under the management of Chevron completed the first ever drilling project with the expressed goal to collect geologic data on gas-hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico.

[+] Go to Field Report

The Mallik Project
The Mallik Project

The Mallik Research Consortium

The Mallik Research Consortium drilled three test wells in Canada’s Mackenzie Delta, and the results of this cooperative effort, demonstrating the producibility of this energy resource, were published in 2005.  Results Publication: GSC Bulletin 585...


[+] Go to Field Report

Indian Gas Hydrate Program
Indian National Gas Hydrate Program

Results of the Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 01

In 2008 an international partnership led by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (Government of India) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released the results of the most complex and comprehensive gas hydrate field venture yet conducted.

[+] Go to Field Report

Team at Sea
Expedition Team

Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 311

In 2005 a transect of four sites (U1325, U1326, U1327, and U1329) across the northern Cascadia margin was established during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 311 to study the occurrences and formation of gas hydrate in accretionary complexes.  In addition to the transect of sites, a fifth site (U1328) was established at a cold vent with active fluid and gas flow.

The four transect sites represent different stages in the evolution of gas hydrate across the margin from the earliest occurrence on the westernmost first accreted ridge (Site U1326) to its final stage at the eastward limit of gas hydrate occurrence on the margin in shallower water (Site U1329).

[+] Visit Website

Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Drill Site
Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Drill Site

Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well

Two of the most studied permafrost-associated gas hydrate accumulations are those at the Mallik site in the Mackenzie River Delta of Canada and the Eileen gas hydrate accumulation on the North Slope of Alaska.  The science program in support of the DOE and BP sponsored Mount Elbert gas hydrate test well project in northern Alaska generated one of the most comprehensive data sets on an Arctic gas hydrate accumulation along with critical gas hydrate reservoir engineering data.

[+] Go To Field Report

D/V Fugro Synergy
D/V Furgro Synergy

Korean National Gas Hydrate Program, Second Ulleung Basin Gas Hydrate Drilling Expedition (UBGH2)

South Korea has established a strong national gas hydrate program organized under the Korean Gas Hydrate Research and Development Organization (GHDO-K).  The USGS maintains a close cooperative research relationship with GHDO-K, who in 2008 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with USDOE to collaborate on gas hydrate energy resource research.  In the summer of 2010, USGS scientists participated in an Ulleung Basin gas hydrate drilling expedition off the east coast of Korea (85 day drilling, coring, and logging expedition).

[+] Go To Field Report

D/V Fugro Synergy
Research Plan

Marine Methane Hydrate Field Research Plan

In 2013, the USGS in partnership with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and U.S. Department of Energy authored a topical report that charted the path toward the collection of data through marine scientific drilling that can be used by scientists, engineers, managers, and planners to better understand the impact of marine methane hydrates on safety and seafloor stability and to assess the feasibility of marine methane hydrate as a potential future energy resource.

[+] Go To Field Report


NOGA, AlaskaNational Oil and Gas Assessment
The Energy Resources Program provides periodic assessments of the oil and natural gas endowment of the United States.






Visit our Gas Hyrdate Multimedia Gallery for high resolution images and more >>



USGS CorecastUSGS Podcast (Episode 74 - 11/12/2008):  Gas Hydrates on Alaska's North Slope

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Download Directly  |  See Podcast Transcript and Details

 Podcast feed  iTunes feed




Page Last Modified: Monday, March 24, 2014

from the Gas Hydrates Gallery
from the Gas Hydrates Gallery

Burning Gas Hydrates photograph

Burning Gas Hydrates. Photo by J. Pinkston and L. Stern (USGS).

Go to the Mulitimedia Gallery (for image details)


Publications Database
Publications & Advanced Search
A searchable database of thousands of published sources, dating back several decades
USGS Energy Data Finder
Find Data
USGS Energy Data Finder:  Download GIS and tabular data, databases, geospatial web services (ArcGIS, WMS, KML)
A single map viewer portal incorporating a range of maps, data and services
National Coal Resources Data System
National Coal Resources Data System
USGS coal resources databases of national scope