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.
Although understanding the role of methane hydrate as a source of a global greenhouse gas is of general interest, this research is not uniquely related 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) in the transmission of methane from the subsurface through the methane hydrate stability zone to the surface and (b) in the subsequent fate of the released methane. These studies should focus on degassing processes and potentially enhanced environmental impacts from commercial production of methane from methane hydrate and from methane hydrate associated with other oil and gas developments.
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 resource development goal.
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