Gas Hydrates

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GAS HYDRATES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
POTENTIAL FUTURE FUEL FOR THE ECONOMY
GAS HYDRATES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
POTENTIAL FUTURE FUEL FOR THE ECONOMY

Thomas Harding
SEDV 601
Thomas Harding
SEDV 601
Fariha Abedin, Nisa Choudhary, Romaine Mcleary
Fariha Abedin, Nisa Choudhary, Romaine Mcleary

Contents
ABSTRACT1
INTRODUCTION2
DISTRIBUTION3
WHAT ARE NATURAL GAS HYDRATES?4
WHERE DO NATURAL GAS HYDRATES FORM?5
POSSIBLE PRODUCTION METHOD:6
Thermal Injection:6
Inhibitor Injection:6
Depressurization:6
Figure7
Cost involved in extraction7
The Extraction of Methane from Gas Hydrates Using Methanogenic Archaebacteria8
TRANSPORTATION METHOD:10
GAS HYDRATES DRILLING HAZARD10
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS:12
CLIMATE CHANGE:13
BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES THRIVING ON METHANE:14
ECONOMIC ASSESSMENTS:14
CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH FUTURE DEVELOPMENT:16
References18

ABSTRACT

Gas Hydrates are a largely untapped energy resource, and the potential for extracting energy from it is considerable. Research in this area is driven by the need to meet economical energy targets, but is relatively young compared to other energy technologies. Gas hydrates were first discovered in 1965 and consists of substantial volumes of hydrocarbon energy collected few hundred meters deep into the earth’s surface. Natural Gas Hydrates are found on both onshore and offshore permafrost, in Polar Regions worldwide. The interests in gas hydrates are due to three important key factors: it is a resource potential from fossil fuel; it is a submarine geo-hazard, and the environmental concerns. It has been known that the volume of energy stored in gas hydrates can surpasses world’s supply of energy through coal, oil and conventional natural gas collectively. There are many challenges revolved around extraction of the gas from hydrate deposit that could result in negative effect on the environment. Various researches are currently being conducted in a number of countries, such as USA, Japan, Russia, and India. However, this report introduces the general status of gas hydrates and evaluates on potential economic growth and environmental impacts. Lastly, this paper addresses the challenges involved with technology, economic and environmental and concludes with suggestions for future developments.

INTRODUCTION

Over the past century, world population has doubled, competition for living space is increasing and demand for energy is rising. The rate on which modern civilization is growing will continue to increase in the future and much of it depends on number of factors. One such important factor would be the quality and quantity of energy being produced, distributed and used. Conventional energy such as oil, gas and coal are expected to decline by the end of the century; therefore, finding alternative sources of energy has become necessary. Natural gas hydrate is one such source of energy that has great potential and could be used to sustain economic development of many energy dependent countries in the world. Gas hydrates are formed mostly in marine sediments and arctic region and estimated potential reserves in the world of hydrated gas are over 1.5 × 1016m, of which the volume of gas that can be commercially produced is 17–20% of the potential (Makogon, Holditch, T.Y. Makogon, 2007). Approximately 98% of these reserves are situated offshore in transition zones of continental shelf-oceanic slope (Makogon, 2004). Data from 2005 shows that more than 220 gas hydrate deposits have been found and over a hundred of wells were drilled kilometers deep to study hydrated cores (Makogon, 2007). This is enough to provide the world with 200 years’ worth of energy at the current level of energy consumption. Marine sediments contain methane that is trapped as a hydrate, which consists of large carbon reservoir. This dominant factor must be taken into consideration for an assessment in estimating unconventional energy resources along...
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