Global research on the potential commercial viability of gas extraction from gas hydrates is continuing, predominantly in Asia and in the United States, where recent efforts have focused on the exploration and characterization of gas hydrate petroleum systems and conducting controlled production tests of gas hydrate deposits hosted in mostly sand-rich reservoir systems.
In 2017, gas hydrate production testing was conducted in marine settings in the offshore of Japan and China. An additional test was conducted in the Shenhu region of the South China Sea in 2020 to further evaluate the effectiveness of various well completion technologies to produce gas from gas hydrates. Late in 2018, a research partnership led by the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation established a new Alaska North Slope test site for an extended gas hydrate production pilot with the completion of a stratigraphic test well. With the successful completion of the Prudhoe Bay Unit Hydrate-01 stratigraphic test well, planning is now underway for drilling of three additional wells at the Alaska test site, which will include a geoscience data well and two production test wells. In 2019, the Government of India released the results of one of the most comprehensive gas hydrate scientific drilling investigations ever undertaken, the leadership of the Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 reported on the discovery of several significant gas hydrate accumulations that were considered suitable for future gas hydrate production testing. In September of 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey released a new assessment of the technically recoverable gas hydrate resources on the Alaska North Slope. In 2018, the University of Texas at Austin released a comprehensive report describing the operational and initial technical results of the UT-GOM2-1 Hydrate Pressure Coring Expedition, which drilled and partially cored two wells in Green Canyon Block 955 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
The results of these recently complete gas hydrate geologic and production studies have been further reviewed in this AAPG-EMD Gas Hydrate Committee report.