Regional Mapping and Resource Assessment of Shallow Gas Hydrates of Japan Sea - METI Launched 3 Years Project in 2013.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 5:00 PM
Ryo Matsumoto, Meiji University, Gas Hydrate Laboratory, Tokyo, Japan
Agency of Natural Resources and Energy of METI launched a 3 years shallow gas hydrate exploration project in 2013 to make a precise resource assessment of shallow gas hydrates in the eastern margin of Japan Sea and around Hokkaido. Shallow gas hydrates of Japan Sea occur in fine-grained muddy sediments of shallow subsurface of mounds and gas chimneys in the form of massive nodular to platy accumulation. Gas hydrate bearing mounds are often associated with active methane seeps, bacterial mats and carbonate concretions and pavements. Gases of gas hydrates are derived either from deep thermogenic, shallow microbial or from the mixed gases, contrasting with totally microbial deep-seated stratigraphically controlled hydrates. Shallow gas hydrates in Japan Sea have not been considered as energy resource due to its limited distribution in narrow Joetsu basin. However recently academic research surveys have demonstrated regional distribution of gas chimney and hydrate mound in a number of sedimentary basins along the eastern margin of Japan Sea. Regional mapping of gas chimney and hydrate mound by means of MBES and SBP surveys have confirmed that more than 200 gas chimneys exist in 100 km x 100 km area. ROV dives have identified dense accumulation of hydrates on the wall of half collapsed hydrate mound down to 30 mbsf. Sequential LWD and shallow coring campaign in the Summer of 2014, R/V Hakurei, which is equipped with Fugro Seacore R140 drilling rig, drilled through hydrate mounds and gas chimneys down to the BGHS (base of gas hydrate stability) level and successfully recovered massive gas hydrates bearing sediments from several horizons.