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Methane hydrates and the future of natural gas

December 1, 2012

For decades, gas hydrates have been discussed as a potential resource, particularly for countries with limited access to conventional hydrocarbons or a strategic interest in establishing alternative, unconventional gas reserves. Methane has never been produced from gas hydrates at a commercial scale and, barring major changes in the economics of natural gas supply and demand, commercial production at a large scale is considered unlikely to commence within the next 15 years. Given the overall uncertainty still associated with gas hydrates as a potential resource, they have not been included in the EPPA model in MITEI’s Future of Natural Gas report. Still, gas hydrates remain a potentially large methane resource and must necessarily be included in any consideration of the natural gas supply beyond two decades from now.