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Methane Hydrate Fuel (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: gas hydrates ?

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 30 Jul 2013, 17:29:16

Oil Companies Are Preparing to Tackle Methane Hydrate, Assuming It Doesn't Melt First

Deep under the Arctic's frosty seas lies a massive energy prize: billions of tons of methane hydrates. Climate scientists have long discussed the incredible climate-warming potential those deposits of frozen natural gas have if they ever melt, and a recent report from a trio of researchers says the climate costs of melting methane hydrate could rival the size of the entire global economy. But while debate continues over those claims, it's becoming ever clearer that oil companies will attempt to extract those hard-to-reach deposits.


That decade timetable is tight, but Japan's not alone. According to a big report in the Wall Street Journal, India and China are also heavily interested in exploiting methane hydrates to help feed their huge energy demands. (Those energy needs have also fueled Chinese and Indian interest in alternative energy sources like thorium.) Currently, costs remain high—the Journal pegs methane hydrate extraction at somewhere between $30 and $60 per million BTUs, while in the US natural gas is $4 per million BTUs—but experiments are ongoing in Asia and North America.

In fact, oil giant ConocoPhillips has already run a successful test in Alaska with the US Energy Department, which utilized a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen injection to release methane hydrates from a well.

It may end up being in the Siberian Arctic that methane hydrates could prove most tantalizing to oil companies. Drilling in the Arctic is incredibly expensive, but that's changing. As fossil fuels get harder to find and as the Arctic melts, the cost-benefit ratio of drilling in the Arctic has become more attractive for oil giants like Russia's Rosneft.

And with Rosneft recently locking down the billions in funding it needed to start drilling the Siberian fields it's spent years acquiring, a methane hydrate boom may not be far off.

While it's still not clear if methane hydrate extraction will ever be cost-effective enough to be worthwhile, especially in the middle of a natural gas boom, the amount of interest over reserves worldwide suggest that someone will crack the puzzle.


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Re: Methane Hydrate Fuel (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 30 Jul 2013, 20:50:31

The Russians claimed to have been quite successful in producing natural gas trapped beneath a methane hydrate cap, they believed that much of the gas actually produced had to come from extraction pressure drops causing the bottom of the hydrate layer to dissolve. Hydrates are only stable above critical pressure and below a critical temperature, if they get too warm or decompress they break up into methane gas and water.
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Re: Methane Hydrate Fuel (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 31 Jul 2013, 13:48:43

Tanada - That could make sense although the conditions might be relatively rare. It sounds as though the hydrates are forming a seal onto of a viable reservoir rock. Essentially just as all reservoirs must have a seal containing them. Dropping the reservoir pressure would cause the lower portion of the seal to "melt" and charge the reservoir rock. The only down side is that this is being down at a rather shallow depth and thus he NG would be at a rather lower pressure and thus not an impressive flow rate. One risk that’s difficult to qualify would be developing a "melted" channel vertically in the hydrate causing a surface rupture. Might cause some sort of catastrophic release of the entire hydrate body. Could put a lot of methane into the atmosphere
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Re: Methane Hydrate Fuel (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 31 Jul 2013, 21:54:37

ROCKMAN wrote:Tanada - That could make sense although the conditions might be relatively rare. It sounds as though the hydrates are forming a seal onto of a viable reservoir rock. Essentially just as all reservoirs must have a seal containing them. Dropping the reservoir pressure would cause the lower portion of the seal to "melt" and charge the reservoir rock. The only down side is that this is being down at a rather shallow depth and thus he NG would be at a rather lower pressure and thus not an impressive flow rate. One risk that’s difficult to qualify would be developing a "melted" channel vertically in the hydrate causing a surface rupture. Might cause some sort of catastrophic release of the entire hydrate body. Could put a lot of methane into the atmosphere

[SARCASM] Oh come on ROCKMAN how can you be so chicken about such a wonderful energy source that is so safe the USSR spent twenty years developing ways to harvest it in Siberia? Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain!{/SARCASM]

Seriously, I have read about the trial runs several different times from different sources over the years and as you point out degradation of the hydrates can be a very serious issue. I think the only realistic ways to deal with it would be to have a cooling jacket in the well casing insulated on the inside to not freeze up the supply being extracted. You would have to use something like freon as your liquid phase to keep the outside of the casing as far below freezing as possible to keep the hydrates stable as long as possible. Sooner or later the cap is going to weaken if you are dropping the pressure below it and the bottom is eroding into water and free methane.
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Re: Methane Hydrate Fuel (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 01 Aug 2013, 08:38:48

Tanada - Sounds like a possible approach. They may also get a bit of help from Mother Earth with respect to keeping the producing well bore cold. Often when we produce a NG well the expansion of the NG as its pressure is lowered at the surface actually produces freezing temperatures. We have "heater-treaters" we use in the production package that takes some of the NG and burns it to heat the flow lines. Otherwise those lines will actually freeze and stop the flow.

Here' s way more info on the subject then anyone in the right mind should want to learn about: search "hrcak.srce.hr/file/87636"
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Re: Methane Hydrate Fuel (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 25 Mar 2014, 10:33:19

Just stumbled across an article from January about methane clathrate mining off the South Carolina coast.

Mitchell Colgan isn't so sure. Colgan is a College of Charleston geology professor who formerly worked in exploration research for Shell Oil Co.
"The problem you face is how much money you pay for that lease," he said. Shell Oil paid more than a half billion dollars for a lease off Alaska more than two decades ago, but that was in an area rich with beds that also could be claimed by Russia. Those hydrates are much closer to shore than those off South Carolina.

Also, oil companies would be more attracted to abundant methane hydrate beds in locations like Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico, where some of the recovery infrastructure and equipment already is in place, Colgan said. Off South Carolina, you would be starting from scratch, to go after a supply not expected to be nearly as plentiful as other locations.

"There would be good reasons for Japan to try to get it," Colgan said, but even with the recent success there, the companies still haven't solved the problem of how to get at enough of the gas safely enough to make it cost-beneficial.

"If you solve that problem, then you go where it's closer to shore," he said. On the Blake Plateau, "all the hydrates are on the slope, a tremendously unstable area."

But Charter insists "it's not paranoid at all" to think (oil companies) are interested. In the Gulf of Mexico, companies for years avoided drilling deep ocean oil wells because of the methane hydrate beds, the depth and distance from shore, and danger. Now they are drilling in areas like Deepwater Horizon.

"The bottom line is methane hydrates aren't ready for prime time," he said, but the technology and need might be only 10, 12, 15 years away. In other words, the Blake beds might be harvestable within the time span of the life of the lease.


'Dirty little secret'


Very little is known about the environmental concerns of going after methane hydrate, Charter said. What is known is that "as currently conducted, it's extremely dangerous."
The extraction process differs from fracking, the problematic and controversial gas extraction now underway onshore. But it's similar in that hydraulic fracturing injects fluid underground at great pressure, while methane hydrates already are under pressure.

Fracking is not particularly efficient, injecting huge volumes of water and potentially polluting groundwater supplies. A "dirty little secret" about fracking is that it burns off about 50 percent of the natural gas that could be recovered, Charter said.

In South Carolina, the methane hydrates pot is actively being boiled by federal and state legislators pushing bills to promote offshore exploration and drilling, citing the potential revenue. But state waters end 3 miles off the coast; the beds, of course, are a lot farther out. Federal rules specify that royalties in those regions are paid to the federal government, not the states.

State legislators "think that somehow or another somewhere they will be able to rewrite federal law to reap some royalties. That's a pipe dream. Residents are being sold a bill of goods, a red herring, to open the coast (to drilling) and not consider the value of a clean coast to an economy dependent on it," Charter said.

In South Carolina, Colgan said, talking up oil and gas is "a political game that's being played that people are being cute about. There isn't any oil. There isn't any natural gas in our environment."

As for the methane hydrates offshore, "It's almost impossible to get, and if you could get it, you wouldn't get it here. Farther north the ice is closer to the surface," Colgan said.


More at the link http://www.postandcourier.com/article/2 ... /140109725
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THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby ennui2 » Sun 24 Jan 2016, 17:18:09

To try to steer the discussion in a more academic direction, I will start this thread on the topic of commercial methane hydrate mining.

Here is the WIKI entry on commercial extraction

I would expect to see some news flow by this year as the Japanese site is trying to scale up. Interest may not be as keen due to low oil prices, but the Fukushima disaster must be causing Japan to look for different sources of energy, so we'll see.
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sun 24 Jan 2016, 17:31:37

Doesnt sound like a sustainable long term plan to future prosperity
Japan's 'frozen gas' is worthless if we take climate change seriously
Like all nations extending the fossil fuel frontier, Japan is adding to the mountain of fossil fuels we cannot responsibly burn

"Even the most conservative estimates conclude that about 1,000 times more methane is trapped in hydrates than is consumed annually worldwide to meet energy needs."

Only a small proportion of this resource is exploitable: even so, that small proportion could greatly augment the volume of fossil fuel reserves we cannot afford to burn.
If governments intended to curb greenhouse gas emissions, there would be no point in developing this new source of fuel.
Their attempts to exploit it reinforce the perception that they have no intention of preventing climate breakdown.





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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby ennui2 » Sun 24 Jan 2016, 19:50:40

I would agree that it's dangerous to burn it all. The thread is more intended to track whether we're gearing up to burn it anyway.
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby GHung » Sun 24 Jan 2016, 23:19:14

As long as the Japanese expect to power stuff like this, they're screwed.

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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 05:46:15

All I can say about this is it seems way too risky because you can created earthquake like conditions or an explosion which can fire off the Clathrate gun and that spells doomsday.
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 09:32:20

ennui2 wrote:To try to steer the discussion in a more academic direction, I will start this thread on the topic of commercial methane hydrate mining.

Here is the WIKI entry on commercial extraction

I would expect to see some news flow by this year as the Japanese site is trying to scale up. Interest may not be as keen due to low oil prices, but the Fukushima disaster must be causing Japan to look for different sources of energy, so we'll see.


Back when the USSR was still around they had one field producing in IIRC Siberia. They drilled down through the clathrate layer that was acting like cap rock on the underlying methane source material and pumped out the free gas below, then as the pressure dropped from the extraction the clathrate started breaking down as well. I seem to recall they had to stop after a year or so because the cap was getting too thin and they were afraid it would rupture if they kept going.
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby curlyq3 » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 12:46:04

The Japanese mining methane hydrate ... maybe a subsidiary of TEPCO ? ... what possibly could go wrong ? (sarc off)
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 14:13:45

For folks who woke up yesterday and believe they discovered something wondrous and new, you need to understand a simple basic property of the material.

Methane hydrate is dispersed in the ocean bottom sediment as dirty frozen crystal sand. At undersea pressure is is solid but changes over to a gas as it surfaces. Because it is not a gas . . . it can not be piped to the surface. Does anyone see a problem with this?

Here is the original Methane Hydrate Fuel (merged) thread from Apr 15, 2005 where you will find some gems of clear thinking such as:
by EndOfSewers » Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:42 am

All the energy density of cow farts, and buried at the bottom of the ocean. What a great energy source!
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby ennui2 » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 14:29:57

Tar sands and shale is also not oil and that hasn't stopped anybody.
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 14:44:33

you know what is so frustrating about this? You were here back then as Mos6502 but were too busy being a doomer and trying to warn people with you robovideo. You missed out on a valuable education. Never too late!

But you won't get that valuable education here anymore. People got tired attempting to educate the world about our predicament. The smart ones up and left. Just us idiots left lol
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 14:47:04

Pete in reference to what you just said: "Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed. " Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 15:00:38

ennui2 wrote:Tar sands and shale is also not oil and that hasn't stopped anybody.


Shale first, a lot of conventional oil comes from shale beds, the only thing different now is companies that use hydraulic fracturing produce that same oil much more rapidly. It is still oil just like it always was.

Tar Sands are sand embedded with oil, where most of the lighter fractions have gradually managed to escape into the atmosphere or water table. When you use heavy equipment to mine tar sands you are working on a layer that is hundreds of feet thick.

Methane hydrate clathrates are not, from anything I have ever read, hundreds of feet thick and sitting near the surface where they can be mined and processed.
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 15:03:58

onlooker wrote:Pete in reference to what you just said: "Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed. " Friedrich Nietzsche
Here is another of my bitter cynical posts from yesteryear:

pstarr wrote:This crap is no more possible than Saturian Space Methane. (Or cold fusion for that matter). It is a slush/mud mixture on the deepest sea floors that evaporates went brought to atmospheric pressure. This should be one of those rare moments when even the most guileless techtopian asks themselves; "gee. I wonder how money and ENERGY I would have to throw away to scrap this crap from 20,000 leagues?"

Tanada, time to blend this dilbit in with the rest? lol
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Re: THE Methane Hydrate Recovery Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 25 Jan 2016, 15:09:30

I have never read much on this but if your description P, is only mildly correct it seems it is evidently not worth the effort to access it.
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