Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fire Ice

The energy stored in methane clathrate deposits on Earth has been estimated at twice that in all conventional hydrocarbon deposits of oil, gas, and coal.


The Canadian and Japanese team will describe how they got the hydrates to release gas, like bubbles out of champagne. In a world first, the team got a production well to generate a steady flow of gas for six days, fuelling a flame in the Arctic darkness.

“The message is quite clear, you can produce gas hydrates using conventional techniques,” says Scott Dallimore, a senior scientist at Natural Resources Canada, who co-led the project in the Mackenzie Delta. Over two winters the researchers drilled down more than a kilometre into a 150-metre-thick layer on the edge of the Beaufort Sea at Mallik — the most concentrated known deposit of the frozen fuel in the world.

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