Appendix F
Project Summaries

The information in this appendix was obtained from the Department of Energy (DOE) Methane Hydrate R&D Program Web site: http://www.netl.doe.gov/scng/hydrate/index.html. Further information on DOE methane hydrate projects can be obtained at that site and in Appendix G.

TARGETED SOLICITATION PROJECTS

Field Study of Exposed and Buried Gas Hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico

This project is a two-year field monitoring and laboratory program in the Gulf of Mexico. The program combines quantitative field monitoring and laboratory study to determine the physical and chemical effects of in situ environmental disturbances on the stability of gas hydrate on the northern Gulf of Mexico seafloor. The goal of this research is to determine the potential impacts of gas hydrate stability in terms of the release of methane into seafloor sediments, the ocean, and the atmosphere. Performers: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Texas A&M University.

In Situ Sampling and Characterization of Marine Methane Hydrate (ODP Leg 204 Hydrates Coring Expedition)

As part of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 204, the R/V JOIDES Resolution spent from July 6 to September 2, 2002, off the



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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States Appendix F Project Summaries The information in this appendix was obtained from the Department of Energy (DOE) Methane Hydrate R&D Program Web site: http://www.netl.doe.gov/scng/hydrate/index.html. Further information on DOE methane hydrate projects can be obtained at that site and in Appendix G. TARGETED SOLICITATION PROJECTS Field Study of Exposed and Buried Gas Hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico This project is a two-year field monitoring and laboratory program in the Gulf of Mexico. The program combines quantitative field monitoring and laboratory study to determine the physical and chemical effects of in situ environmental disturbances on the stability of gas hydrate on the northern Gulf of Mexico seafloor. The goal of this research is to determine the potential impacts of gas hydrate stability in terms of the release of methane into seafloor sediments, the ocean, and the atmosphere. Performers: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Texas A&M University. In Situ Sampling and Characterization of Marine Methane Hydrate (ODP Leg 204 Hydrates Coring Expedition) As part of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 204, the R/V JOIDES Resolution spent from July 6 to September 2, 2002, off the

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States Oregon coast collecting and preserving hydrate samples. The area of interest is Hydrate Ridge, where two tectonic plates converge and scientific surveys indicate massive accumulations of hydrate. The cruise was dedicated to understanding the biochemical factors controlling the distribution and concentration of gas hydrate in an accretionary margin setting. The goal of the study is to characterize hydrate accumulation at Hydrate Ridge and improve the ability to use geophysical and subsurface logging to identify hydrate. Performers: Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI); Texas A&M University-Texas A&M Research Foundation; Columbia University, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. Petrophysical Characterization and Reservoir Simulator for Gas Hydrate Production and Hazard Avoidance in the Gulf of Mexico In order to expand the current knowledge of gas hydrate behavior in the natural environment, this project is designed to study hydrate formation and dissociation in sediments under deepwater conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. This laboratory study will reproduce natural deepwater conditions and, using computed tomography (CT) scanning, will allow scientists to observe the formation and dissociation of hydrate in different types of sediment under various temperature and pressure regimes. The goal of the project is to develop new methodologies to characterize the physical properties of methane hydrate/sediment systems. Performers: Westport Technology Center Inter-national/Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.; University of Houston. JOINT INDUSTRY PROJECTS Characterizing Natural Gas Hydrates in the Deep Water Gulf of Mexico: Applications for Safe Exploration This study is designed to identify key hydrate sites in the Gulf of Mexico. WesternGeco, a partner on this project, identified possible key hydrate locations for subsequent modeling and analysis in the Gulf. Using three-dimensional seismic data, possible locations for subsequent modeling and analysis were identified. Two sites were selected for further evaluation and subsequent drilling; they are the Atwater Block 14 and Keathley Canyon Block 195 in the Gulf of Mexico. The overall goal of the project is to develop a better understanding of the impact of hydrate on safety and seafloor stability in the Gulf of Mexico. Performers: ChevronTexaco

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States EPTC; Schlumberger Oilfield Services; Halliburton Energy Services; ConocoPhillips Inc.; Japan National Oil Co; Reliance Industries Ltd.; Minerals Management Service; Georgia Institute of Technology; Joint Oceanographic Institutions. Methane Hydrate Production from Alaskan Permafrost This is a three-year, two-phase project to obtain the field data required to verify geological, geophysical, and geochemical models of hydrate and to plan, design, and implement a program to safely, economically, and in an environmentally responsible manner drill and produce gas from Arctic hydrate. The goals of the project are to determine the best techniques for drilling and recovering hydrate in Arctic areas, as well as the potential production rates. Information on this project can be obtained at the Maurer Technology Web site: http://www.maurertechnology.com/indexhydrates.html. Performers: Maurer Technology, Inc.; Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; University of Alaska; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Sandia National Laboratory; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); Schlumberger Oilfield Services; Paulsson Geophysical Services. Alaska North Slope Gas Hydrate Reservoir Characterization This four-year project is designed to characterize, quantify, and determine the commercial viability of in situ recoverable gas hydrate and associated free-gas resources in three areas of the Alaska North Slope (ANS): Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk River, and Milne Point units. The goal of the project is to enable industry and government to make informed decisions regarding the resource potential of ANS methane hydrate and to validate potential production techniques. Performers: BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. (BPXA); University of Alaska, Fairbanks; University of Arizona, Tucson; U.S. Geological Survey. BROAD-BASED SOLICITATION PROJECTS Fundamentals of Natural Gas and Species Flows from Hydrate Dissociation—Applications to Safety Problems The objectives of this study are to develop computational techniques that can describe the behavior of gas hydrate and provide

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States an understanding of the conditions that cause dissociation within the sediments. The goal of the project is to develop models to help determine the potential for seafloor and well bore instability during drilling. Performer: Clarkson University. Three-Dimensional Structure and Physical Properties of a Methane Hydrate Deposit at Blake Ridge This study is a joint venture to improve the three-dimensional seismic images and deploy a new array of ocean bottom seismometers to allow never-before-seen seismic images of a hydrate deposit. Researchers want to determine the linkage between hydrate concentrations and seismic characteristics in subsea sediments. Performers: University of Wyoming, Department of Geology and Geophysics. Characterizing Marine Gas Hydrate Reservoirs Using Three-Dimensional Seismic Data This project will use three-dimensional, multicomponent seismic data recorded in the Gulf of Mexico with four-component ocean bottom seismometers to improve the detection and characterization of gas hydrate, as well as enhance the ability to predict the stability of ocean floors. The goal of the project is to develop seismic tools for detecting hydrate and predicting seafloor stability. Performers: University of Texas, Bureau of Economic Geology. Gulf of Mexico Sea Floor Stability and Gas Hydrates Monitoring Project The Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology at the University of Mississippi will develop, deploy, and initiate operation of a comprehensive multisensor, remotely controlled analytical station in the Gulf of Mexico. The objective of the continuation of the project is to study gas hydrate mounds and hydrocarbon vents for the purpose of understanding the relationships between these features and the episodes of sediment instability that threaten the petroleum industry’s infrastructure. The overall goal of these projects is to improve understanding of the dynamic nature of seafloor gas hydrate accumulations and related seafloor stability. Performers: University of Mississippi Center for Marine Resources

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States and Environmental Technology; Specialty Devices, Inc.; Georgia Institute of Technology; University of Wales, Bangor; Mississippi State University; University of Southern Mississippi; Naval Research Laboratory; Louisiana State University; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Florida State University; University of North Carolina; Texas A&M University. NATIONAL LABORATORY PROJECTS Characterizing Gas Hydrate Kinetics and Biochemistry This project will attempt to characterize the thermodynamics of hydrate formation and dissociation, using hydrate samples obtained from ODP Leg 204 and cores from the Mallik 2002 well. The goal of the project is to improve understanding of how natural gas hydrate forms and dissociates and the potential role of biochemistry in that process. Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Fundamental Physical Properties and Chemical Stability of Gas Hydrates This study will measure processes of hydrate formation, dissociation, and dissolution, as well as relevant physical properties of high-purity, structure I and structure II hydrate and of synthesized mixtures of hydrate plus sediments. The goal of the project is to enhance the overall understanding of the physical properties and chemical stability of methane hydrate. Performer: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. X-Ray Scanning for Characterization of Gas Hydrate Bearing Cores In this project, LBNL designed and fabricated a field-deployable X-ray linear scanner for shipboard investigation of ocean bottom sediments collected during ODP Leg 204, off the coast of Oregon in an area known as Hydrate Ridge. The goal of the project is to develop tools and techniques for collecting hydrate core data that recognize the unique character of hydrate. Performer: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States Mesoscale Characterization of Natural and Synthetic Gas Hydrates This project will develop experimental methodology to characterize structural and interfacial properties of natural gas hydrate on a mesoscopic scale. The goal of the project is to develop the information needed to model various hydrate recovery schemes and to assess and predict seafloor stability. Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Improved Technologies for Detecting Gas Hydrates The purpose of this project is to investigate, calibrate, and integrate gas hydrate information and data obtained from microscale laboratory measurements, well logging and monitoring; and macro-scale techniques, including surface and volumetric imaging and three-dimensional data analysis. The focus will be on deriving velocity, density, and structure characteristics for seismic data interpretation. The goal of the project is to develop and test approaches for detecting gas hydrate using remote sensing. Performer: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Collection and Microbiological Analysis of Gas Hydrate Cores The objective of this project is to determine the fundamental modeling parameters for the amount of methane generated in deep sea sediments by methanogenic microorganisms, so that models for methane distribution and production in gas hydrate reservoirs can accurately reflect the volume and distribution of biogenic methane, which is presently unknown. The goal of the project is to determine the presence and activity of methanogens in methane hydrate-bearing sediments. Performer: Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). Characterization of Methane Hydrate Bearing Sediments and Hydrate Dissociation Kinetics This study will use a high-pressure cell and state-of-the art analytical equipment to conduct measurements of methane hydrate dissociation and the effects of dissociation on flow and transport properties of hydrate-bearing sediments. The goal of this study is to

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States develop experimental techniques and models that can be used to more accurately predict the transient response of a gas hydrate reservoir to pressure and temperature perturbations. Performer: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. TOUGH2 Hydrate Reservoir Simulator Development The objective of this project is to develop a module for the TOUGH2 (transport of unsaturated groundwater and heat) family of codes (Preuss, 1991) for simulation of the behavior of methane hydrate systems in the subsurface. The goal of this project is to model the production of methane from gas hydrate accumulations. Performer: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. INTERAGENCY PROJECTS U.S. Geological Survey Projects Gathering, Processing and Evaluating Seismic and Physical Data on Gas Hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico In the Gulf of Mexico, the USGS is conducting regional high-resolution seismic studies of the mid- to upper-continental slope to determine the acoustic character of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). The goal of the project is to characterize hydrate in the Gulf of Mexico and further develop field techniques to do so. Performers: U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Field Center; Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Characterizing Arctic Hydrates (Canadian Test Well and Alaskan “Wells of Opportunity”) The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the USGS worked together to aid in the drilling and testing of a gas hydrate production well in the Mackenzie Delta area of Canada. This work was done in conjunction with an international consortium managed by the Geological Survey of Canada. The goal of the project was to assess the recoverability and potential production characteristics of the onshore

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States natural gas hydrate and associated free-gas accumulations on the Alaskan North Slope. Performer: USGS and NETL. U.S. Department of the Navy, Navy Research Laboratory (NRL) Projects Gas Hydrates Research in Deep Sea Sediments This project will use NRL’s Deep-Towed, High-Resolution Seismic System to obtain seismic data in the shallow sediments in the Gulf of Mexico. The goal of the study is to advance capabilities for imaging seafloor deposits of gas hydrate and improve understanding of hydrate properties and the biogeochemical influences on methane hydrate formation. Performer: NRL. NATIONAL ENERGY TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY IN-HOUSE PROJECTS Properties of Natural Gas Hydrates I This project includes the design and creation of new experimental equipment and techniques both to form methane hydrate and to obtain thermal property values for unconsolidated methane hydrate. The goal of the study is to provide fundamental thermal property information useful for developing production strategies for gas hydrate and understanding hydrate/sediment behavior. Performer: National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Office of Science and Technology (OST). Kinetics of Natural Gas Hydrates The goal of this study is to provide fundamental thermal property information useful for developing production strategies for gas hydrate and understanding hydrate-sediment behavior. Performers: NETL Office of Science and Technology; University of Oklahoma; University of Hawaii; Duquesne University.

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States OTHER NONFEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENTS Fixed Price, Sole-Source Contracts The Mallik 2002 Consortium: Drilling and Testing a Gas Hydrate Well The objectives of this project are to participate in the drilling and testing of a gas hydrate production well in the MacKenzie Delta area of Canada, in conjunction with an international consortium managed by the Geological Survey of Canada. The goal of the project is to obtain information that can be utilized to develop gas hydrate computer production models. Performer: Geological Survey of Canada. Small Purchase Orders Related to Gas Hydrate Research Downhole Logging at Hydrate Ridge (ODP Leg 204) This study proposed to obtain nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) well logs through the gas hydrate-bearing sediments at Hydrate Ridge off the Oregon coast during the ODP Leg 204 cruise of the R/V JOIDES Resolution. The goal of this project is to improve methods for detecting the presence and characterizing the concentration of gas hydrate using well-logging tools. Performers: Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Schlumberger, Inc. Geologic Environments Favorable for Formation and Stability of Gas Hydrates The objective of this project is to create a reference chart illustrating the characteristics of gas hydrate and its global distribution, to serve as a concise, graphical representation of the current state of knowledge regarding gas hydrate environments and distribution. The goal of the project is to develop a simple, concise depiction of the state of the knowledge related to gas hydrate, as a point of departure for planning discussions and as a hand-out at conferences. Performer: GeoExplorers International, Inc.

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States High Resolution Processing of Seismic Data from GB 424 and 425 and MC 852 and 853, Gulf of Mexico The objective of this project is to retrieve raw data from archived field tapes and perform three-dimensional, high-resolution processing of seismic data from Garden Banks Blocks (GB) 424 and 425 and Mississippi Blocks (MB) 852 and 853 in the Gulf of Mexico, using the near-offset hydrophone groups and optimizing the high-frequency data to obtain improved resolution of near-surface features. The goal is to add to the body of knowledge that characterizes potential methane hydrate drilling sites for the ODP. Performer: Western Geco. A Submersible-Deployed Micro-Drill for Sampling of Shallow Gas Hydrate Deposits In 2001, Texas A&M University was awarded a contract to design and fabricate a drilling device that will enable researchers to collect short cores of methane gas hydrate from deposits at the seafloor. The hydrate microdrill, a rotary frame that holds six drill bits, was developed. The goal of the study is to advance the technical capabilities for sampling and monitoring seafloor deposits of naturally occurring gas hydrate. Performers: Texas A&M University; Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution; University of Nebraska. OTHER PROJECTS Mechanical Testing of Gas Hydrate/Sediment Samples The objective of this project is to quantify the mechanical characteristics of methane hydrate and hydrate-cemented sediments for use in models of the dynamic behavior of sediments related to drilling and seafloor installations in the Gulf of Mexico. The goal of the project is to develop an understanding of the mechanical characteristics of hydrate-containing sediments. Performers: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center; Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.

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Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States Physical Properties, Natural Gas Production, Environmental, Safety and Seafloor Stability Aspects of Gas Hydrates The objective of this project is to complement and supplement external gas hydrate research in areas related to modeling and experimental studies. The goal is to provide important fundamental information useful for developing production strategies for gas hydrate. Performers: NETL OST; Clarkson University; West Virginia University. Natural Gas Analysis Support, Development of Techniques for Distribution of Gas Hydrates The objective of this study is to develop a methodology for the distribution of gas hydrate information by identifying the universe of researchers (names and organizations) that have been involved in gas hydrate research. The goal of the study is to make certain that the existing community of hydrate researchers is aware of the plans and activities of the Methane Hydrate R&D Program. Performers: K&M Engineering and Consulting. National Methane Hydrate Program Web site The objective of this project is to design, create, and maintain a Web site that will serve as a focal point for information and news about methane hydrate and current research efforts, serve as an educational tool, provide a historical perspective on how our knowledge of hydrate has developed, and provide information on a variety of issues and fundamental questions concerning hydrate. The goal is to allow researchers and the public ready access to information regarding methane hydrate research at NETL and other government agencies. Performer: NETL.

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