© 2019

Exploration and Production of Oceanic Natural Gas Hydrate

Critical Factors for Commercialization


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxviii
  2. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson (Deceased)
    Pages 1-55
  3. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson (Deceased)
    Pages 57-94
  4. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson
    Pages 95-147
  5. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson (Deceased)
    Pages 185-201
  6. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson (Deceased)
    Pages 203-226
  7. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson
    Pages 227-279
  8. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson (Deceased)
    Pages 281-326
  9. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson
    Pages 327-346
  10. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson
    Pages 347-417
  11. Michael D. Max, Arthur H. Johnson
    Pages 419-468
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 469-482

About this book


This second edition provides extensive information on the attributes of the Natural Gas Hydrate (NGH) system, highlighting opportunities for the innovative use and modification of existing technologies, as well as new approaches and technologies that have the potential to dramatically lower the cost of NGH exploration and production.

Above all, the book compares the physical, environmental, and commercial aspects of the NGH system with those of other gas resources.  It subsequently argues and demonstrates that natural gas can provide the least expensive energy during the transition to, and possibly within, a renewable energy future, and that NGH poses the lowest environmental risk of all gas resources.

Intended as a non-mathematical, descriptive text that should be understandable to non-specialists as well as to engineers concerned with the physical characteristics of NGH reservoirs and their production, the book is written for readers at the university graduate level.  It offers a valuable reference guide for environmentalists and the energy community, and includes discussions that will be of great interest to energy industry professionals, legislators, administrators, regulators, and all those concerned with energy options and their respective advantages and disadvantages.


Natural Gas Hydrate Exploration Fossil Fuel and Oceanic Natural Gas Hydrate Renewable Energy and Oceanic Natural Gas Hydrate Environmental Risk and Oceanic Natural Gas Hydrates Deepwater Natural Gas Hydrate and Exploration Natural Gas and Cost-saving and Innovation Ultra-deepwater Technology and Natural Gas Nature Gas Hydrate Production NHG Resources

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Marine and Petroleum Geology Research Group (Natural Gas Hydrate), iCRAG, School of Earth SciencesUniversity College DublinBelfield, DublinIreland
  2. 2.KennerUSA

About the authors

Michael D. Max has a broad background including geology, geophysics, chemistry, acoustics, and information technology. He has a BSc from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an MSc from the University of Wyoming, and a PhD from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. He has worked as a geologist / geophysicist for the Geological Survey of Ireland, the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, and the NATO Undersea Research Center, La Spezia, Italy. From 1999 to 2011 Max was CEO and Head of Research for Marine Desalination Systems LLC, which established a hydrate research laboratory and explored industrial applications of gas hydrate. He is the author of many scientific publications and four textbooks, and holds over 40 patents. He assisted in the writing of the US Gas Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000. Michael is a member of the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy 2014-2019, and is Co-Chair, Diving Committee of the Marine Technology Society. He is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Geological Sciences of University College, Dublin, Ireland.  HEI has been closed.  Michael is now carrying on his R&D activities through Max Systems LLC and University College, Dublin, Ireland.

Art Johnson was a founding partner of Hydrate Energy International, LLC (HEI). Prior to forming HEI in 2002, Art had been a geologist with Chevron for 25 years, where his career included most aspects of hydrocarbon exploration and development. Art was instrumental in initiating Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico program for gas hydrate studies in 1995. He advised Congress and the White House on energy issues starting in 1997, and chaired advisory committees for several Secretaries on Energy. He had a longstanding role coordinating the research efforts of industry, universities, and government agencies. Art served as the Gas Hydrate Lead Analyst for the “Global Energy Assessment,” an international project undertaken by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) of Vienna, Austria and supported by the World Bank, UN organizations, and national governments that evaluated the energy resource bases of the entire planet with a view to addressing energy needs in the decades to come. He was Chair of the Gas Hydrate Committee of the Energy Minerals Division of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and was also very active in his Methodist Church and in helping with hurricane relief and peacemaking activities. Much to the sorrow of his good friend and co-author, and of countless other friends, Art unexpectedly passed away on August 9, 2017.

Bibliographic information


“The authors, experts in the geoscience and engineering of GHs, show that near-future energy needs will rely on a natural gas component to make up for hourly to seasonal production shortfalls in electricity demand.  This book should be a handy resource for geoscientists in both government and NGOs, power-generation technologists, policy makers, energy economists, and graduate-level students in ocean energy science. The first five chapters cover the geoscience and economics of GH production; the remaining six cover the operations side of GH production and engineering. This should quickly become the standard reference for GHs.” (Tom Klekamp, President of Amber Resources, L.L.C., 39 years of diverse oil industry experience)

“Natural Gas Hydrates have always been considered a fringe science with many parallels to fusion power.  They are both known to be technically possible but are always 30 years away.  By providing decades of knowledge and understanding of the entire energy landscape, from the geologic formation to the light switch of the end user, the authors formulate a cogent and practical argument for Natural Gas Hydrates becoming a significant component of the not too distant energy future.  Their detailed account of the horizontal drilling and fracking revolution and its far ranging and ongoing impact on the world economy shows how NGH may be poised to be the next evolution of fossil fuel production . . . for better or for worse from a climate perspective.  In the age of bookmarks this book provides a valuable and handy guide to many of the questions the informed reader may have on the modern energy economy.” (Christopher Carstens is a Berkeley and Singularity University trained inventor and entrepreneur with more 15 years of experience in the conventional and renewable energy space)