Investigation of the role of methane hydrate in the global carbon cycle is best pursued in collaboration with other agencies. Resolution of these questions is not central to the Program’s goal of resource development.
The committee was impressed with the overall quality of much of the research that is under way through the support and coordination of the Program. The research progress, the positive impact the Program is having on raising the profile of and interest in methane hydrate as a potential energy resource, and the rate at which the Program is moving toward the goal of achieving production of methane from methane hydrate accumulations are all commendable. Achieving the Program goals will require sustained national commitment, because the cost of the necessary pre- and post-drilling assessments, field tests, and the associated laboratory and modeling studies will be substantial.