Monday, June 01, 2009

A World Floating In Methane

A recent USGS, US Minerals Management Service, and a group under the management of Chevron have done a survey of methane-rich sand reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico. Brian Westenhaus reports:
...gas hydrate can and does occur at high saturations within reservoir-quality sands in the Gulf of Mexico with highly saturated hydrate-bearing sands discovered in at least in two of three sites drilled. Dr. Collett said, “In addition, we have found gas hydrate in a range of settings, including sand reservoirs, thick sequences of fracture-filling gas hydrates in shales, and potential partially saturated gas hydrates in younger systems. These sites provide a wealth of opportunities for further study and data collection that will enable significant advances in understanding the nature and development of gas hydrate systems.”

The project also featured a number of technical advances, including the use of an advanced suite of logging-while-drilling tools that provided unprecedented three-dimensional images of hydrate-bearing sediments. The wells sited at Walker Ridge, drilled to approximately 3,500 feet below the seafloor, were more than 1,000 feet deeper than any previous gas hydrate research well.

It all looks very good. _NewEnergyandFuel
Methane hydrates -- methane plus water -- have been found under the sea floor and under surface layers around the world. The quantity of methane within the Earth's crust is more than scientists imagined. More methane than oil, coal, conventional gas supplies. No one knows how much more, the exploration has just begun.

Besides methanol, methane is another near-ideal fuel for the coming age of fuel cells.

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