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Cranganu, Constantin1, Boyko Nitzov2
(1) Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY
(2) University of Oklahoma, Institute for Energy Economics and Policy, Norman, OK

ABSTRACT: The Outlook for Gas Hydrates in the Western Black Sea: Technology and Economics

Gas hydrates are increasingly considered a potential energy resource. Considerable knowledge has been developed about their occurrence in nature and properties. However, the issues of technology and economics of natural gas production from gas hydrates are less well understood. Tapping this potential energy resource might be one of the most challenging tasks facing the energy industry in the next century. Various methods of exploiting gas hydrates have been proposed so far, but each of them has some drawbacks. We propose a new method of extracting natural gas from hydrate deposits that may overcome most of these drawbacks. We also look at some elements of economic feasibility of gas production from hydrates. Our analysis indicates that early production of such gas may have best chances in locations where downstream cost is relatively low and few barriers exist to markets. A case study of the Western Black Sea, an area less covered in literature as compared to other regions where considerable gas hydrate resources have been identified, is provided to highlight the findings. Time may be ripe to consider producing methane from deep-sea sediments at useful rates from the point of view of the practicing petroleum engineers. It is quite possible that methane gas hydrates may be a source of clean energy for centuries to come - or may be a siren’s song.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.