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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations contained in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Energy. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. government. Supported by the Department of the Energy, under Award No. DE-AT01-08FE0053.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14889-4

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14889-8

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Cover: The backdrop is a three-dimensional rendering of the “structure 1” or s1 methane hydrate in which methane molecules (represented by spheres) are trapped inside hydrogen-bonded water cages. The images embedded within the cages include a hand-held methane hydrate-bearing sediment sample from the Mt. Elbert well at Milne Point, Alaska (upper left), prepared drillcores from the Department of Energy/Joint Industry Project Gulf of Mexico methane hydrate cruise (middle), and the Doyon 14 drill rig at the Mount Elbert test site, Milne Point, Alaska (lower middle). Images courtesy of: M. R. Walsh, Colorado School of Mines (three-dimensional si methane hydrate structure); Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Research Team (both the Mt. Elbert hand-held core sample and drill rig); Gulf of Mexico Department of Energy/ Joint Industry Project Research Team (prepared drill cores).

Designed by Michael Dudzik.

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