Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fire In The Ice: Gas Hydrate Project Could Unlock Vast Energy Resource In Alaska

Date:
February 22, 2007
Source:
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Summary:
Drilling is complete on an Alaskan North Slope well, cofunded by the Department of Energy, that could prove to be an important milestone in assessing America's largest potential fossil energy resource: gas hydrate. Gas hydrate is an ice-like solid that results from the trapping of methane molecules -- the main component of natural gas -- within a lattice-like cage of water molecules. Dubbed the "ice that burns," this substance releases gaseous methane when it melts.

Gas hydrate is an ice-like solid that results from the trapping of methane molecules -- the main component of natural gas -- within a lattice-like cage of water molecules. Dubbed the "ice that burns," this substance releases gaseous methane when it melts. (Credit: Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy)
Credit: Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy

Drilling is complete on an Alaskan North Slope well, cofunded by the Department of Energy, that could prove to be an important milestone in assessing America's largest potential fossil energy resource: gas hydrate.

Gas hydrate is an ice-like solid that results from the trapping of methane molecules - the main component of natural gas - within a lattice-like cage of water molecules. Dubbed the "ice that burns," this substance releases gaseous methane when it melts.

The size of the global gas hydrate resource is staggering, holding more ultimate energy potential than all other fossil fuels combined, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In the United States, where gas hydrate occurs beneath the permafrost of Alaska's arctic north and below the seabed offshore, the volume of this resource is massive. USGS estimates that the Nation's gas hydrate deposits contain 200,000 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas. Compare this with a known recoverable natural gas resource of approximately 1,500 Tcf. If just one percent of the gas hydrate resource could be rendered producible, our Nation's natural gas resource base would more than double.

The "Mt. Elbert Prospect" well was drilled from an ice pad, constructed to protect the sensitive arctic tundra. The well is designed to verify the nature of one of 12 gas hydrate accumulations previously identified by the project within the Milne Point unit of the greater Prudhoe Bay region of Alaska's North Slope.

The project is a joint effort of the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the USGS, BP Exploration Alaska, the Alaska native-owned Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the Universities of Arizona and Alaska (Fairbanks), and others.

A team of scientists from these and other organizations will be on the well site to collect and evaluate core samples, geophysical well logs, and other data designed to help determine the potential natural gas production from hydrate zones and possibly lead to more extensive production tests on the North Slope.

The project is being conducted through the National Methane Hydrate R&D Program, a DOE-led collaboration of seven federal agencies with a broad mandate to improve our understanding of gas hydrate's role in the natural environment and potential as a future source of natural gas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Energy Technology Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Energy Technology Laboratory. "Fire In The Ice: Gas Hydrate Project Could Unlock Vast Energy Resource In Alaska." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221180908.htm>.
National Energy Technology Laboratory. (2007, February 22). Fire In The Ice: Gas Hydrate Project Could Unlock Vast Energy Resource In Alaska. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221180908.htm
National Energy Technology Laboratory. "Fire In The Ice: Gas Hydrate Project Could Unlock Vast Energy Resource In Alaska." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221180908.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins