Methane hydrate technology fuels a new energy regime - The Globe and Mail
"In a joint announcement two weeks ago, the United States and Japan
(along with ConocoPhillips, the U.S.-based multinational oil company)
announced the world’s first successful field trial (in Alaska) of a
technology that uses carbon dioxide to free natural gas from methane
hydrates – the globally abundant hunks of porous ice that trap huge
amounts of natural gas in deposits, onshore and offshore, around the
Methane hydrates constitute the world’s No. 1 reservoir of fossil
fuel. Ubiquitous along vast stretches of Earth’s continental shelves,
they hold enough natural gas to fuel the world for a thousand years –
and beyond. Who says so? Using the most conservative of assumptions, the
U.S. Geological and Geophysical Service says so.
The U.S. now produces 21 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas a
year. But it possesses 330,000 tcf of natural gas in its methane hydrate
resource – theoretically enough to supply the country for 3,000 years
(give or take). Using less conservative numbers (for example, a methane
hydrate resource of 670,000 tcf), the U.S. is good to go for 6,000 years
(give or take)."
The resource appears to be reasonably accessible.