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Mapping hydrate stability zones offshore Scotland

By Ameena Camps, David Long, Christopher Rochelle and Mike A Lovell


One practical method to reduce environmentally damaging greenhouse gas emissions is through the geological storage of carbon dioxide. Deep, warm storage of carbon dioxide is currently taking place at Sleipner, North Sea and Weyburn, Canada. It is, however, also possible to store carbon dioxide as a liquid and hydrate in cool, sub-seabed sediments. Offshore north and west of Scotland seafloor pressures and temperatures are suitable for hydrate formation. In addition to the possibility of natural methane hydrate being present in this region, conditions may also be favourable for carbon dioxide storage as a liquid and hydrate. A computer program has been developed to calculate the depth to the base of the carbon dioxide and methane hydrate stability zones in two offshore regions: the Faeroe–Shetland Channel and the northern Rockall Trough. Results predict that methane hydrate remains stable to a maximum depth of 650 m below the seabed in the Faeroe–Shetland Channel, and 600 m below the seabed in the northern Rockall Trough; the carbon dioxide hydrate stability zone extends below the seabed to a depth of 345 and 280 m, respectively. No physical evidence for the existence of natural hydrate in these regions has been confirmed. Suitable conditions for carbon dioxide storage as a liquid and hydrate exist, and should this storage method be developed further, a more refined program and greater offshore investigations to improve data sets would be necessary to scope the full potential

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Geological Society of London
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1144/SP319.7
OAI identifier:
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