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Realize the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States
data, when integrated with well-log data, will establish a basis for calibration of the geophysical surveys.
Consideration should be given to the development of new geophysical imaging, processing, and quantification techniques, particularly with respect to quantifying the in-place resource.
METHANE HYDRATE IN NATURE
Although understanding the role of methane hydrate as a source of aglobal greenhouse gas is of general interest, this research is not uniquelyrelated to realizing methane hydrate as an energy resource. However, quantifying ongoing, natural methane fluxes from methane hydrate on a local scale is needed to provide a baseline to evaluate the effects of any future production and development.
Studies are required to address the processes involved (a) inthe transmission of methane from the subsurface through themethane hydrate stability zone to the surface and (b) in the subsequent fate of the released methane. These studies should focuson degassing processes and potentially enhanced environmentalimpacts from commercial production of methane from methanehydrate and from methane hydrate associated with other oil andgas developments.
Investigation of the role of methane hydrate in the global carboncycle is best pursued in collaboration with other agencies. Resolution of these questions is not central to the resource development goal.
Participation in International Programs
Methane hydrate is a global field of research, and direct participation in field projects is vital to any program. Although the Program has had some