U.S. reviews gas hydrate potential offshore

05 15, 2013 by UPI

Research from a 15-day survey of the gas hydrate potential in the northern Gulf of Mexico will be used to refine reserve estimates, a USGS director said.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Energy and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management spent 15 days in the Gulf of Mexico conducting seismic surveys of underwater sediment with high gas hydrate concentrations.

USGS energy program coordinator Brenda Pierce said the cross-agency expedition was a "significant milestone" that will give insight into the concentration of gas hydrates.

The Alaskan Department of Natural Resources and Energy Department agreed this year to study unconventional resources like gas hydrates in arctic regions. Those formations are ice crystals that trap gas deposits under certain conditions.

Scientists working on the North Slope of Alaska last year injected a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen into underwater gas crystals to promote the release of natural gas.

An expedition in 2009 at two sites in the Gulf of Mexico led researchers to estimate there was around 6,700 trillion cubic feet of gas trapped in gas hydrates in the northern Gulf of Mexico.