The primary goal of this project is to provide geologic and geophysical technical support to identify and characterize gas hydrate production test sites on the Alaska North Slope.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) – Denver, CO
This Interagency Agreement is intended to support the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its research partners in understanding, predicting, and testing the recoverability and potential production characteristics of onshore natural gas hydrate in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area on the Alaska North Slope (ANS) (Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk River, and Milne Point areas) — or other areas deemed suitable by DOE and USGS — for potential long-term production testing of gas hydrate. Researchers will accomplish these tasks by evaluating the occurrence and resource potential of the known gas hydrate accumulations in the Eileen trend. Recently acquired geologic, geochemical, and geophysical (2-D and 3-D seismic surveys) data from northern Alaska and other new data sources, including wireline and mud log surveys of wells of opportunity, will be used to assess the occurrence and nature of the known gas hydrate accumulations.
The project involves two primary areas of effort: the geologic and engineering assessment of the Eileen gas-hydrate accumulation, and support of DOE and its industry partners in evaluating, planning, and preparing for drilling and testing gas hydrate research wells in northern Alaska.
This project represents a collaborative approach by DOE and USGS to best use the talents of each organization to address critical issues pertaining to gas hydrate science. USGS will support the federal Gas Hydrate program goals for assessing the technical and economic viability of producing natural gas from methane hydrate by evaluating and facilitating opportunities for production testing in the natural laboratory of the ANS.
It now appears realtively certain that the planned STW phase at the PBU Kuparuk 7-11-12 site will be conducted during December 2018. USGS has and will continue to help lead technical efforts for the conduct of those operations; provide personnel and resources to conduct field and laboratory analyses of material recovered by conventional and pressure core systems during the STW; and partner in the synthesis of data from logging, direct sampling, and geophysical/geologic characterization studies from the STW. That well will be the initial field phase leading to a proposed long-term hydrate production test. Following the STW, USGS will continue to provide technical and scientific leadership for the formulation of the long-term research drilling and production testing program designed to assess the production potential of hydrates on the ANS.
Planned Total Funding: $230,700
Research Performance Progress Report [PDF] July - September, 2018
Research Performance Progress Report [PDF] July - September, 2017
Research Performance Progress Report [PDF] April - September, 2016
Research Performance Progress Report [PDF] October, 2015 - March, 2016
Research Performance Progress Report [PDF] July - September, 2015
Research Performance Progress Report [PDF] October - December, 2014