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U.S. Energy secretary Steven Chu confirmed the completion of a successful test of technology in the North Slope of Alaska that was able to safely extract a steady flow of natural gas from methane hydrates.
Building upon this initial, small-scale test, the department is launching a new research effort to conduct a long-term production test in the Arctic as well as research to test additional technologies that could be used to locate, characterize and safely extract methane hydrates on a larger scale in the U.S. Gulf Coast.
“The Energy Department’s long-term investments in shale gas research during the 70s and 80s helped pave the way for today’s boom in domestic natural gas production that is projected to cut the cost of natural gas by 30% by 2025, while creating thousands of American jobs,” said Chu.
“While this is just the beginning, this research could potentially yield significant new supplies of natural gas,” he concluded.