Gas Hydrates

Supply and Demand

Natural gas now represents more than 20% of the world's primary energy consumption, yet exploration for unconventional gas hydrates is today where exploration for conventional petroleum reservoirs was 100 years ago. Seismic surveys suggest gas hydrate accumulations are abundant in offshore areas around the world and prevalent under permafrost in some arctic regions. Although estimates of the hydrate reserves and the methane that can be produced from them are optimistic, recovery of this unconventional resource presents challenges.

Challenges in recovery

Schlumberger is committed to R&D. Our participation in worldwide experimental drilling and production programs plays a leading role in unlocking the mysteries of hydrates and answering the questions that enable their recovery economically and without endangering the environment:

  • What are the processes of their deposition?
  • What is the best way to identify accumulations?
  • How will their production affect the seabed environments where they are found?

Technologies for gas hydrates

Although the industry does not yet have answers to all the questions, Schlumberger is working to apply proven technologies for conventional exploration and developing new solutions for recovery of this unconventional gas: seismic techniques tuned for hydrate exploration, wellbore simulators that enable drilling through hydrates with minimal disturbance, new technology for formation evaluation, and distributed temperature sensors that operate autonomously at the sea floor.

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