Recovery of Natural Gas from Methane Hydrate Deposits

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83755
Agency Tracking Number: 72818S03-I
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: 15
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0059
Small Business Information
410 Sackett Point Road, North Haven, CT, 06473
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Pfefferle
 (203) 287-3700
Business Contact
 Paul Donahe
Title: Mr.
Phone: (203) 287-3700
Research Institution
72818-Methane hydrates comprise a large potential energy source for the U.S. The thermal dissociation of methane hydrates by the injection of a hot fluid offers the potential to economically, effectively, and controllably produce natural gas from methane hydrate deposits, along with the potential for CO2 sequestration. However, heat losses from the injection at the surface may exceed the heating value of the recovered gas. This project will develop a downhole catalytic combustion system for efficiently producing methane from its hydrate. Specifically, a practical and controllable compact wellbore combustor, which is capable of high BTU downhole heat generation and minimizes the heat losses in transporting hot fluid downhole, will be developed. In addition, the system offers the potential for sequestering CO2 into its hydrate form, releasing more heat for use in dissociating methane. In Phase I, deposits with as little as five percent hydrate by volume were shown to be economically recoverable. Energy costs as a fraction of produced natural gas was very low, with very high payoffs. Phase II will complete the development of the downhole catalytic combustion system. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology should provide an enabling tool for natural gas production from hydrates and potentially for CO2 sequestration. In the near term, the technology should have application for steam generation for heavy oil production, with the potential to improve production and substantially reduce energy and other costs of recovery costs from existing reservoirs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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