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Gas Hydrates: Techniques of Extraction and Its Potential as an Alternative to Natural Gas Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2019

Introduction: Gas Hydrates as the Fuel Problem Solution

Over the past few decades, the idea of natural resources as something exhaustible has led to introducing sustainability into a number of spheres, including not only environmental field, but also economy and politics. Hence, the issue of gas resources exhaustibility has been raised. Despite the viability of the offered alternative of gas hydrates use, the threat of the latter towards the environment seems to have become a major problem.

Research Context: Concerning the Setting and the Related Issues

The given research is going to consider the most promising techniques of gas hydrates extraction. Based on the existing researches, it is going to be conducted as a theoretical exploration of the problem. That said, the research context is going to be represented by a set of models with the help of which real-life situation can be simulated.

Aims and Objectives: Analyzing the Techniques and Defining Their Viability

It is necessary to keep in mind that each of the suggested models poses a threat to deepwater production and seafloor stability. Therefore, it is crucial to once again reconsider not only the reasonability of the use of gas hydrates, but also the existing means of gas hydrate production to figure out which methods are the more reliable and the least damaging to the environment.

The objectives of the given research are to consider the positive and the negative aspects of each gas hydrate production methods, as well as to revisit the alternatives to the gas hydrate use, which will ultimately bring to the question whether the use of natural gas hydrate is reasonable enough.

Methodology: The Key research Tools and Theoretical Foil

Before answering the research question, it is necessary to mark the key steps that are going to be undertaken. First and foremost, the literature on the issue must be analyzed carefully so that the data concerning the gas hydrates could be properly represented.

Literature review

It is necessary to mention that the issue of the use of gas hydrates as the alternative to the use of natural gas has been researched for years. Starting with the early 80s, the problem was explored by the Soviet scientist Makogon (1982). Further on, Englezos (1993) devoted his paper to the issue of clathrate hydrates, thus, opening a new page for the further researches.

In the same year, Kvenwolden considered the use of gas hydrates as the possible solution to the issue of climate change (Kvenwolden, 1993). Followed by Max’s research (Max 1998), the given paper gave the reason for a number of other researches to consider the possibilities of obtaining gas hydrates. For example, Ji, Ahmadi & Smith (2001) make it clear that depressurization might be the answer to the problems.

In their turn, Yong-Lee & Holder (2001) offer the methane hydrates as the most powerful potential source of energy. Hyndman (2002) returned that the gas hydrates can be obtained from under the ocean; however, at the point, it was clear that the procedure would have been much more costly than the possible revenues. Koh (2002) simultaneously suggested considering the nature of gas hydrates.

Komai, Kawabe, Kawamura & Yoon (2003) once again mentioned sequestration as the easiest way of obtaining natural gas hydrates, therefore, developing the methodology for the further research process. Together with Pierce & Collett (2004), Ota, Morohashi, Abe, Watanabe, Smith & Inomata (2005), however, argued that the extraction of the natural gas hydrates should be carried out with the help of chemical processing.

In 2007, three researches of relatively the same impact on the issue appeared; Ahmadi, Ji & Smith (2007) developed the means to produce natural gas from methane hydrate, Castaldi, Zhou & Yegulalp (2007) considered down-hole combustion as another means of obtaining gas, and Makogon appeared once more to join Holditch and Makogon and prove that natural gas hydrates are a potential energy source for the XXI century (Makogon, Holditch & Makogon, 2007).

Though Boswell (2009) still doubted the accessibility of natural gas hydrates as a possible energy source, Demirbas (2010) and Makogon’s (2010) papers seemed to tip the scale between the choice of the two power sources. As a result, in 2012, Cook et al. (2012) explored the opportunities of obtaining gas hydrate in the Gulf of Mexico.

Summarizing the current state of affairs, Koh, Sum & Sloan (2012) and Pang, Nga, Zuo, Zhang, Mab & Chen (2012) have made it clear that gas hydrate can be obtained with the help of Ng–Robinson hydrate model (Pang, Nga, Zuo, Zhang, Mab & Chen, 2012, p. 10).

Research methods

The given research is going to combine qualitative and quantitative methods. To start with, the previously mentioned literature is going to be considered, and its results are going to be thoroughly analyzed and evaluated to have the picture of the present-day techniques and processes that must be applied to obtain the gas hydrate.

Thereafter, each of the production methods is going to be listed, with a careful assessment of ist pros, cons and impact on the environment. Finally, the most appropriate method or a combination of the ones is going to be provided.

Reference List

Ahmadi, G, Ji, G & Smith, DA, 2007, ‘Production of natural gas from methane hydrate by a constant downhole pressure well,’ Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 48, pp. 2053–2068.

Boswell, R 2009, ‘Is gas hydrate energy within reach?’ Science, vol. 325, pp. 957–958.

Castaldi, JM, Zhou, Y & Yegulalp, TM, 2007, ‘Down-hole combustion method for gas production from methane hydrates,’ Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, vol. 56, pp. 176–185.

Cook, A et al., 2012, ‘Electrical anisotropy of gas hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico,’ Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 34, pp. 72–84.

Demirbas, A, 2010, ‘Methane hydrates as potential energy resource: part 1 – Importance, resource and recovery facilities,’ Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 51, pp. 1547–1561.

Englezos, P, 1993, ‘Clathrate hydrates,’ Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Reesrach, 31, pp. 251–1274.

Hyndman, R, 2002, ‘Marine gas hydrates on the Northern Cascadia margin,’ Methane hydrates Interagency R&D Conference, Washington D.C.

Ji, A, Ahmadi, G & Smith, DH, 2001, ‘Natural gas production from hydrate decomposition by depressurization,’ Chemical Engineering Science, vol. 56, pp. 5801–5814.

Koh, CA, 2002, ‘Towards a fundamental understanding of natural gas hydrates,’ Chemical Society Reviews, vol. 31, pp. 157–167.

Koh, CA, Sum, KA, & Sloan, ED, 2012, ‘State of the art: natural gas hydrates as a natural resource,’ Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, vol. 8, pp. 132–138.

Komai, T, Kawabe, Y, Kawamura, T & Yoon, J-H, 2003, ‘Extraction of gas hydrates using CO2 sequestration,’ Proceedings of The Thirteenth (2003) International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, Honolulu, HW.

Kvenwolden, K 1993, ‘Gas hydrates – geological perspective and climate change,’ Reviews of Geophysics, vol. 31, pp. 173–187.

Makogon, YF, 2010, ‘Natural gas hydrates – a promising source of energy,’ Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, vol. 2, pp. 49–59.

Makogon, YF, 1982, ‘Perspectives for the development of gas-hydrate deposits,’ Gas Hydrates and Permafrost, pp. 299–304.

Makogon, YF, Holditch, SA & Makogon, TY, 2007, ‘Natural gas-hydrates – A potential energy source for the 21st Century,’ Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, vol. 56, pp. 14–31.

Max, MD & Dillon, WP, 1998, ‘Oceanic methane hydrate: the character of the Blake Ridge hydrate stability zone, and the potential for methane extraction,’ Journal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 2 no. 3, pp. 343–357.

Ota, M, Morohashi, K, Abe, Y, Watanabe, M, Smith, RL Jr. & Inomata, H, 2005, ‘Replacement of CH4 in the hydrate by use of liquid CO2,’ Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 46, pp. 1680–1691.

Pang, J, Nga, J-H, Zuo, J, Zhang, D, Mab, Q &Chen, G, 2012, ‘Hydrogen gas hydrate– measurements and predictions,’ Fluid Phase Equilibria, vol. 316 no. 1, pp. 6–10.

Pierce, BS & Collett, TS, 2004, ‘Energy resource potential of natural gas hydrates,’ 5th Conference & Exposition on Petroleum Geophysices, India, pp. 899–903.

Yong-Lee, SY & Holder, GD 2001, ‘Methane hydrates potential as a future energy source,’ Fuel Processing Technology, vol. 71, pp. 181–186.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Gas Hydrates: Techniques of Extraction and Its Potential as an Alternative to Natural Gas." July 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/gas-hydrates-techniques-of-extraction-and-its-potential-as-an-alternative-to-natural-gas/.

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