DOE/NETL Methane Hydrate Projects

Mechanical Testing of Gas Hydrate/Sediment Samples


Project Goal

Develop understanding of the mechanical characteristics of hydrate-containing sediments.


The ACE CRREL has a unique group of experienced personnel that have studied the mechanical characteristics of ice and permafrost that can be applied to the study and characterization of the mechanical properties of gas hydrates. The effort aims to quantify the mechanical characteristics of methane hydrate and hydrate cemented sediments for use in models of the dynamic behavior of sediments related to drilling and seafloor installations in the Gulf of Mexico.


US Army Corp of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) – project management and research products


Huntington, WV 25701

Project Impact

The results from the experimental testing will provide input to reservoir, seafloor stability and drilling design models related to the onshore permafrost and offshore subseafloor occurrences of gas hydrates. It will provide the industry data on the characteristics of hydrate at temperature and pressures related to the known natural occurrences that will be required to optimize the development of the resource.


  • Developed experimental apparatus for preparing hydrate and hydrate/sediment samples of appropriate size/shape for testing,
  • Created sediment and gas hydrate samples, and
  • Employed a cyclic loading technique that gives very good values of the modulus and internal friction, and information on the accumulation of anelastic and viscous strain, as a function of frequency and amplitude.

Current Status and Remaining Tasks
Work on this project has been completed.

Project Start: July 9, 1999
Project End: September 30, 2003

Anticipated DOE Contribution: $110,000
Performer Contribution: $50,000

Contact Information:
NETL – Thomas Mroz ( or 304-285-4071)
Dept. of Army – David M. Cole ( or 603-646-4217)