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Energy Department taps vast supply of frozen methane in Alaska

LA Times -- ANCHORAGE — A half-mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what might one day be the next big energy source.

The U.S. Department of Energy and industry partners over two winters drilled into a reservoir of methane hydrate, which looks like ice but burns like a candle if a match warms its molecules. There is little need now for methane, the main ingredient of natural gas. With the boom in production from hydraulic fracturing, the United States is awash in natural gas for the near future and is considering exporting it, but the Energy Department wants to be ready with methane if there's a need.

"If you wait until you need it, and then you have 20 years of research to do, that's


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Submitted Nov 23, 2012 By: aservant
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Author Topic: Energy Department taps vast supply of frozen methane in Alaska Back to Topics
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 4:55:42 AM

nsdp: no telling. Maybe marketing?
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nsdp
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 12:33:54 PM

There is 15TCF(that doesn't count the other North Slope fields) in the gas cap at Prudhoe Bay and in the last 40 years no one has figured a way to get that to market. What makes this different?
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Canucktree
Champion Author Alberta

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 9:19:52 AM

Ouch! 45 Votes! This will be as old as the turkey!
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Wizrd03
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 8:50:35 AM

Same news as yesterday
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Tegger
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 6:34:47 AM

OK
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Double_Golden
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 12:52:25 AM

ok...
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kgbellman
Champion Author Ann Arbor

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 11:51:32 PM

That sounds promising
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bobcatfan
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 11:37:15 PM

Be prepared.
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RevDrCBJ
Veteran Author Ann Arbor

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 11:29:46 PM

Implications for the environment?
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CdnLynx
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 11:11:02 PM

Aviator Rob - How True, global warming will only increase exponentially with the melting permafrost!
It's becoming more apparent here with many peoples psychology, that their desires for cheap energy to further their need for convenient transportation, that they wish away global warming with rhetoric that it does not exist; until it's to late!
The Arctic once a frozen ocean is virtually liquid; when it was frozen it has a moderating effect on extreme temps not just in the northern hemisphere but globally!
Let the onslaught (comments) begin!
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camel1
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 11:03:01 PM

research could start now on uses for it
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Sydman
Veteran Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 11:03:00 PM

Dude!
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mrbee
Champion Author Little Rock

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:59:49 PM

Go for it
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driveonby1
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:55:57 PM

Frozen? Well, maybe it doesn't smell as bad.
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gilfarm
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:55:14 PM

Ok
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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:53:52 PM

I never said govt has all the answers, @bojiway1. But at least their looking for some, unlike Big Oil that just has it's collective head down a borehole.
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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:52:07 PM

I won't have to wait long, @SilliesRock. At this rate, it'll happen in our lifetime, although people who currently live at the shore and don't move may not live that long.
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DEG
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:51:33 PM

The US should have, and still should be, developing its own resources (oil, natural gas, etc.) to become energy independent.
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mfeldstein
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:51:25 PM

I don't believe it can be done safely. Stick with cow herds.
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Blue48
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:50:53 PM

COOL!
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bojiway1
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:48:42 PM

and the gov, has all the answers Rob, I say if we can do it safely and under control, do it
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granitestater
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:44:45 PM

Methane... The Next Big Thing.
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SilliesRock
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:43:35 PM

Keep waiting, Aviator Bob.
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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:40:57 PM

Ah, once again the Internet trolls don't care except to say that government is the problem. Otherwise, "Drill, baby, drill!" "Unleash Capitalism!" Blah, blah, blah.

I'm just waiting to see how much the temperature spikes when the permafrost starts to melt and all of this natural gas that's been locked up as methane hydrate escapes into the atmosphere.
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nomad228
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:40:32 PM

can me-thane be frozen when its a gas. oh! it's crystalized methane/frozen liquid. not the gas.
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gsayeg1
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:37:03 PM

ok sounds good
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:36:19 PM


The US is awash in natural gas right now. This is just one more source that can be tapped when conventional supplies begin to wane.
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tco9436
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:31:10 PM

the next big thing?
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photobuddy
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:29:45 PM

we don't need it for the near future so why waste money and time now?
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gd83goldwinger
Champion Author South Bend

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:28:56 PM

Ok.
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dollarwatcher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:25:01 PM

Just leave it, it's like money in the bank.
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boatmen
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:24:18 PM

very nice much needed
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BigKart
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:22:20 PM

It's obvious that we ought to be using our own plentiful energy product to power our cars. Why is the infrastructure not being developed? It's the only way that this will ever be successful. The hybrid car we need is dual-fuel: CNG/gasoline for now, straight CNG when the infrastructure will support it.
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mstearno
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:21:03 PM

not with this administration
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vcsuksu21
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:18:19 PM

good, go drill for it
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VikingWoman
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:10:43 PM

So Sarah Palin's old hot air rots and has a good use - who knew?

"Drill, baby, drill"

[Edited by: VikingWoman at 11/23/2012 11:12:08 PM EST]
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wayoung56
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:10:24 PM

Cool, if it can be safely gathered and transported to where it is needed...
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DCbeachbum
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:10:12 PM

This could be a very good thing. It looks like these climate change folks will have there say about it too.
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Doomsday64
All-Star Author Austin

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:09:35 PM

Hope they don't export it.
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OGW
Champion Author London

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:03:57 PM

Old dumps and cow manure produce all kinds of methane gas and sometimes when they build houses on these old dumps, they will suddenly explode when the gas seeps into the house and is egnited by a flame or spark. Can be dangerous stuff.
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abcdMA
Champion Author Worcester

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 10:01:45 PM

the enerygy of the future
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mrselfdestruct
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:59:10 PM

Flammable dry ice, that'll be fun
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esquared
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:58:33 PM

...colorless, odorless....
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REKEY
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:57:10 PM

WOW! Frozen methane, that gives me ideas.....
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TBRR
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:55:02 PM

they could also tap cows for their methane which is not frozen.

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Soglaos
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:54:44 PM

ok but who is really doing it it is not the governemnt
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hubhunts
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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:51:34 PM

Pullsome taxes down?
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walkingtall
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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:50:55 PM

It seems more fuel sources are being found.
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TopGunn
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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:48:38 PM

Next?
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drobbbb
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 9:48:07 PM

interesting
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