Energy Resources Program
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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
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
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
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.
Field ReportThe 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.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
USGS Publication: Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5195As part of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Bureau of Land Management gas hydrate research collaboration, well-cutting and mud-gas samples have been collected and analyzed from mainly industry-drilled wells on the North Slope for the purpose of prospecting for gas hydrate deposits.
Friday, January 28, 2011
USGS Publication: Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5005In this study, the connectivity equation (CE), which is a new approach to model non-Archie rocks, is used to correct for the clay effect and is compared with results using the Waxman and Smits method. The CE presented here requires no parameters other than an adjustable constant, which can be derived from the resistivity of water-saturated sediments.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
USGS Publication: Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5138
Accurate S-wave velocities for shallow sediments are important in performing a reliable elastic inversion for gas hydrate-bearing sediments and in evaluating velocity models for predicting S-wave velocities, but few S-wave velocities are measured at low effective pressure. Predicting S-wave velocities by using conventional methods based on the Biot-Gassmann theory appears to be inaccurate for laboratory-measured velocities at effective pressures less than about 4–5 megapascals (MPa).
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
USGS Contribution to AAPG Memoir on Gas Hydrates: In the December of 2009, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) published a comprehensive treatise on the geology of gas hydrates which is entitled Natural Gas Hydrates – Energy Resource Potential and Associated Hazards.
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.
The Government of India, with the support of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has released the initial results of the most comprehensive gas hydrate scientific drilling investigation ever undertaken.
Go to Field Report
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
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.
The Mallik Research Consortium drilled three test wells in Canada’s Mackenzie Delta, and the results of this international cooperative effort, demonstrating the producibility of this energy resource, were published in 2005. Results Publication:
GSC Bulletin 585.
Go to Project Summary (DOE/NETL)
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.
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).
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
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).
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.
National Oil and Gas Assessment
The Energy Resources Program provides periodic assessments of the oil and natural gas endowment of the United States.
USGS Podcast (Episode 74 - 11/12/2008): Gas Hydrates on Alaska's North Slope
Download Directly | See Podcast Transcript and Details
USGS Gas Hydrate Project
Woods Hole Science Center
Gas Hydrate and Climate Change
DOE Methane Hydrate R&D Program
NETL Methane Hydrate Web Site
NETL Fire in the Ice Newsletter
NETL Methane Hydrate Primer
Gas Hydrate Energy Resource Potential
Current Perspectives on Gas Hydrate Resources
111th Congress Hearing: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on "Unconventional Fuels, Part II: The Promise of Methane Hydrates"
Burning Gas Hydrates. Photo by J. Pinkston and L. Stern (USGS).
Go to the Mulitimedia Gallery (for image details)
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