Abstract

Gas-hydrate accumulations located onshore in Arctic permafrost regions are seen as a potential source of natural gas. Surprisingly, most of the gas hydrate found in the Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea areas was indirectly discovered or inferred from conventional hydrocarbon exploration programs. One of these occurrences, the Mallik gas-hydrate field (Figure 1), has received particular attention over the last 10 years. Two internationally partnered research well programs have intersected three intervals of gas hydrates and have allowed successful extraction of subpermafrost core samples with significant gas hydrates. The gas-hydrate intervals are up to 40 m thick and have high gas-hydrate saturation, sometimes exceeding 80% of pore volume of unconsolidated clastic sediments with average porosities from 25–40%. At Mallik, the gas-hydrate intervals are located at depths of 900–1100 m and are localized on the crest of an anticline.

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