from the “state of the science” and broad challenges in methane hydrate research outlined in Chapter 2. Thus, field projects with aims toward production tests and drilling, reservoir simulation modeling, geomechanics, remote sensing, and environmental and geohazard-related research are examined here. Although the focus is on research conducted since the last review of the Program (NRC, 2004), background information prior to 2004 is provided where appropriate (Appendix F contains a complete inventory of ongoing and completed projects supported by the Program).1

FIELD STUDIES WITH AIMS TOWARD DRILLING AND PRODUCTION TESTS

The Program’s field studies2 have focused in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Alaska North Slope. Research projects in both regions have been important cornerstones of the Program’s portfolio since 2001 and have been oriented toward improving exploration methods and quantifying the hydrate resource, and more recently, toward evaluating the challenges of methane hydrate production (Appendix F).3 Other research specific to the geologic and physical conditions of each region has also been conducted. An important component of the research in both regions has been their coordination with significant input to research coordination, resources, and execution from industry, other federal agencies, national laboratories, and the academic community, in addition to DOE (and the National Energy and Technology Laboratory [NETL]).

1

 Project listings and information, including publications and reports, are catalogued on- line at http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oilgas/FutureSupply/MethaneHydrates/projects/ DOEProjects/DOE-Project_toc.html.

2

 In this review “field studies” refers to those research projects within the DOE portfolio with active orientation toward production testing (see Appendix F).

3

 In Appendix F, Project Category “Field studies—Production and drilling projects,” Report identifiers 1 through 4.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement