Article in national newspaper VG 20th. May 2012 (no longer available)
The global amount of energy in the form of hydrate may amount to more than double the energy reserves in coal, oil and gas worldwide. The problem has been extracting the hydrates from the deep ocean floor.Gas hydrate appears as ice-like solids consisting of water and gas; which in nature mostly is methane. Natural occurrences are found in conditions at high pressure and low temperature; i.e. in arctic tundra and beneath the deep ocean floors.
The new method developed by researchers at the University of Bergen is patented and on its way to commercial realization with guidance from BTO, is to expose the natural gas hydrate to CO2. CO2 hydrate is thermodynamically more stable than natural gas hydrate and it has been calculated and experimentally shown that CO2 hydrate is formed while methane gas is released. Thus, a win-win situation of simultaneous storage of CO2 with spontaneous release of natural gas is the result; with no net production of water and no macroscopic melting of the hydrate, keeping the rock formation intact.