Page 39: of Marine Technology Magazine (November 2016)

Subsea Engineering & Construction

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“When the methane reaches the upper water column where you have light, an interesting scenario develops, particularly for the Arctic, you have a higher biological productivity. In the future, if increases of methane release in a more ice-free Arctic Ocean occur, one could hypothesize that there will be an increase in biological productivity and thus, ocean life...”

Illustration: Torger Grytå/CAGE what type of sediment exists; how it will impact the environ- be better understood. In the long term, we hope to get a team ment and global climate; whether the technology is ready to of international geoscienti? c experts with an Integrated Ocean drill the gas hydrate ? elds, and if not ready, what is needed to Discovery Program (IODP) to the Arctic. The hope is to use extract the gas hydrates in the future.” the Japanese ship Chikyu, which recently drilled gas hydrates

Currently, the Arctic region produces about one-tenth of the offshore Japan and India. They carried out the largest expedi- world’s oil and a quarter of its natural gas. New estimates sug- tion for drilling and mapping of gas hydrates ever, with great gest that a signi? cant fraction of the world’s petroleum re- success.” serves still lie undiscovered within the Arctic. “In the future we will use more observational data and mod- “The most exciting places for those in the industry are con- eling scenarios to identify target areas and increase success. ventional hydrocarbon ? elds, where you have oil and gas di- We have more observations now in the Arctic than ever before, rectly beneath a gas hydrate ? eld as it will allow you to extract so the integration of observations and modeling is the key to gas from two reservoirs. But there are some challenges both identifying the areas in the Arctic that are of highest interest in terms of technology and environmental impact, that need to for environmental and climate research,” concludes Mienert.

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