The primary goal of this research is to conduct initial scientific planning to enable future operational planning and conduct of scientific ocean drilling, coring, logging, testing, and analytical activities to assess the geologic occurrence, regional context, and characteristics of methane hydrate deposits along the continental margins of the U.S. with an emphasis on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic margin.
Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Washington DC
Our current understanding of the occurrence, distribution, and characteristics of marine methane hydrates is incomplete, requiring additional research to better quantify their potential as a meaningful component of the future world energy portfolio. Oceanic basins with known, or suspected, methane hydrate occurrence have been explored for over 30 years, but these efforts have been episodic and must become more frequent and employ new techniques and technologies to both maximize the data acquired and knowledge gained from it. Further progress is critically dependent on the continued refinement of constraints on models for the formation, distribution, and occurrence of methane hydrate in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic margin of the United States.
The primary focus of this project is to conduct scientific planning that will enable future scientific ocean drilling, coring, logging, testing, and analytical activities to assess the geologic occurrence, regional context, and characteristics of methane hydrate deposits along the continental margins of the U.S. with an emphasis on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic margin.
This will be accomplished through initial literature and data reviews to outline the range of questions and unknowns that need to be addressed within hydrate science. Project personnel will follow up initial definition efforts by working inclusively within the greater hydrate research community—including industry, academia, and government—to solicit input and develop a comprehensive scientific plan designed to help resolve critical technical, scientific ,and technological gaps leading toward a future hydrate-focused offshore drilling, logging, and coring program.
The project will facilitate better understanding of the impact of hydrates on safety and seafloor stability by helping to define and enable future collection of critical data that can be used by scientists to study the role of hydrates in global climate and assess the feasibility of marine hydrate as a potential energy resource.
Project efforts are complete with the finalization of the Marine Methane Hydrate Field Science Plan (development of which was the primary focus of the project), and the completion of the project final report. The plan and final project report are available below under "Additional Information".
Planned Total Funding: $201,976
Final Project Report [PDF-1.47MB] February, 2014
Marine Methane Hydrate Field Science Plan [PDF-14.4MB] - December 2013