Methane Hydrate Field Program 2017-03-29T11:56:27+00:00

In October 2012, the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) in partnership with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (Ocean Leadership) initiated the Methane Hydrate Field Research Program.  This research project is part of an expanding portfolio of DOE-NETL projects designed to increase the understanding of methane hydrates’ potential as a future energy supply.

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marine-hydrate-field-research-plan-cover Marine Methane Hydrate Field Research Plan (PDF,  14 MB)


The primary objective was to conduct scientific planning that will help define and enable future scientific ocean drilling, coring, logging, testing and analytical activities to assess the geologic occurrence, regional context, and characteristics of methane hydrate deposits along the continental margins of the United States.  This effort also helped reach out to the international research community to develop a more global vision of gas hydrate research goals and needs.

To accomplish these objectives, DOE-NETL and Ocean Leadership assembled a gas hydrate project science team.  Additionally, a research community workshop was held in June 2013 with the goal of developing a methane hydrate “science plan” for a gas hydrate sampling program.

Past Workshop

Methane Hydrate Community Workshop
4 -6 June 2013
Washington, DC


Historical Methane Hydrate Project Review Report

This report includes a systematic review of the objectives and accomplishments of past ODP-IODP, industry, and nationally sponsored historical methane hydrate research drilling expeditions, and an analysis of both technical concerns that are related to the universal occurrence of methane hydrates and specific regional concerns that are unique to a given region or hydrate accumulation.  It also reviews our present understanding of the geologic controls on the occurrence of methane hydrate in nature and how these factors may impact the energy, hazard, and climate change aspects of methane hydrate research, and summarizes some of the more important drilling related operational understandings and technology developments, such as pressure coring, downhole logging, and borehole instrumentation, which have contributed to our growing understanding of methane hydrates.  This report concludes with a systematic review of planning documents for major methane hydrate research projects, national/international assessment reports on methane hydrate research issues and opportunities, and program peer review reports.

Program Planning and Review Documents

Related Links

Project Contacts

David Divins, PhD
Project Manager/Principal Investigator

Margo Morell
Project Coordinator
(202) 787-1618