The Holy Grail of energy

Researchers from Canada and Japan appear to have unlocked the Holy Grail of energy supply after achieving test flows from a methane gas hydrate just below the seafloor off British Colombia’s (BC) McKenzie Delta, some 850m beneath the waves. With BP, Chevron and Japan National Oil Corp. in support, the team at Mallik, BC confirmed that they had successfully disturbed the pressure balance keeping gas molecules trapped in iced water molecules. The Mallik team flared from ice for six days at rates akin to a coalbed methane well. Gas hydrate fields line the coasts of every continent, and are said to pack more energy than conventional natural gas for being frozen and compressed. Scientists have long calculated that they contain more energy than all the world’s coal, oil and conventional gas. In 2002, an expanded consortium with seven international partners undertook a production research well program that included the drilling of a 1200m deep research well. Full-scale field experiments involved over 100 international researchers in an effort to monitor and understand the depressurizing hydates.
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