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Hydrate occurrence in Europe: A review of available evidence

Hydrate occurrence in Europe: A review of available evidence
Hydrate occurrence in Europe: A review of available evidence
Large national programs in the United States and several Asian countries have defined and characterised their marine methane hydrate occurrences in some detail, but European hydrate occurrence has received less attention. The European Union-funded project “Marine gas hydrate – an indigenous resource of natural gas for Europe” (MIGRATE) aimed to determine the European potential inventory of exploitable gas hydrate, to assess current technologies for their production, and to evaluate the associated risks. We present a synthesis of results from a MIGRATE working group that focused on the definition and assessment of hydrate in Europe. Our review includes the western and eastern margins of Greenland, the Barents Sea and onshore and offshore Svalbard, the Atlantic margin of Europe, extending south to the northwestern margin of Morocco, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the western and southern margins of the Black Sea. We have not attempted to cover the high Arctic, the Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian sectors of the Black Sea, or overseas territories of European nations. Following a formalised process, we defined a range of indicators of hydrate presence based on geophysical, geochemical and geological data. Our study was framed by the constraint of the hydrate stability field in European seas. Direct hydrate indicators included sampling of hydrate; the presence of bottom simulating reflectors in seismic reflection profiles; gas seepage into the ocean; and chlorinity anomalies in sediment cores. Indirect indicators included geophysical survey evidence for seismic velocity and/or resistivity anomalies, seismic reflectivity anomalies or subsurface gas escape structures; various seabed features associated with gas escape, and the presence of an underlying conventional petroleum system. We used these indicators to develop a database of hydrate occurrence across Europe. We identified a series of regions where there is substantial evidence for hydrate occurrence (some areas offshore Greenland, offshore west Svalbard, the Barents Sea, the mid-Norwegian margin, the Gulf of Cadiz, parts of the eastern Mediterranean, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea) and regions where the evidence is more tenuous (other areas offshore Greenland and of the eastern Mediterranean, onshore Svalbard, offshore Ireland and offshore northwest Iberia). We provide an overview of the evidence for hydrate occurrence in each of these regions. We conclude that around Europe, areas with strong evidence for the presence of hydrate commonly coincide with conventional thermogenic hydrocarbon provinces.
Europe, Methane hydrate
0264-8172
735-764
Minshull, Timothy A.
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Marín-moreno, Hector
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Betlem, Peter
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Bialas, Joerg
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Buenz, Stefan
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Burwicz, Ewa
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Cameselle, Alejandra L.
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Cifci, Gunay
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Giustiniani, Michela
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Hillman, Jess I.t.
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Hölz, Sebastian
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Hopper, John R.
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Ion, Gabriel
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León, Ricardo
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Mata, Maria-pilar
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Max, Michael D.
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Pinheiro, Luis M.
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Plaza-faverola, Andreia A.
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Rey, Daniel
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Roy, Srikumar
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Schwalenberg, Katrin
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Senger, Kim
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Vadakkepuliyambatta, Sunil
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Vasilev, Atanas
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Minshull, Timothy A.
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Marín-moreno, Hector
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Betlem, Peter
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Bialas, Joerg
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Cameselle, Alejandra L.
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Cifci, Gunay
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Hölz, Sebastian
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León, Ricardo
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Okay, Seda
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Roy, Srikumar
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Schwalenberg, Katrin
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Minshull, Timothy A., Marín-moreno, Hector, Betlem, Peter, Bialas, Joerg, Buenz, Stefan, Burwicz, Ewa, Cameselle, Alejandra L., Cifci, Gunay, Giustiniani, Michela, Hillman, Jess I.t., Hölz, Sebastian, Hopper, John R., Ion, Gabriel, León, Ricardo, Magalhaes, Vitor, Makovsky, Yizhaq, Mata, Maria-pilar, Max, Michael D., Nielsen, Tove, Okay, Seda, Ostrovsky, Ilia, O'neill, Nick, Pinheiro, Luis M., Plaza-faverola, Andreia A., Rey, Daniel, Roy, Srikumar, Schwalenberg, Katrin, Senger, Kim, Vadakkepuliyambatta, Sunil, Vasilev, Atanas and Vázquez, Juan-tomás (2020) Hydrate occurrence in Europe: A review of available evidence. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 111, 735-764. (doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2019.08.014).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Large national programs in the United States and several Asian countries have defined and characterised their marine methane hydrate occurrences in some detail, but European hydrate occurrence has received less attention. The European Union-funded project “Marine gas hydrate – an indigenous resource of natural gas for Europe” (MIGRATE) aimed to determine the European potential inventory of exploitable gas hydrate, to assess current technologies for their production, and to evaluate the associated risks. We present a synthesis of results from a MIGRATE working group that focused on the definition and assessment of hydrate in Europe. Our review includes the western and eastern margins of Greenland, the Barents Sea and onshore and offshore Svalbard, the Atlantic margin of Europe, extending south to the northwestern margin of Morocco, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the western and southern margins of the Black Sea. We have not attempted to cover the high Arctic, the Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian sectors of the Black Sea, or overseas territories of European nations. Following a formalised process, we defined a range of indicators of hydrate presence based on geophysical, geochemical and geological data. Our study was framed by the constraint of the hydrate stability field in European seas. Direct hydrate indicators included sampling of hydrate; the presence of bottom simulating reflectors in seismic reflection profiles; gas seepage into the ocean; and chlorinity anomalies in sediment cores. Indirect indicators included geophysical survey evidence for seismic velocity and/or resistivity anomalies, seismic reflectivity anomalies or subsurface gas escape structures; various seabed features associated with gas escape, and the presence of an underlying conventional petroleum system. We used these indicators to develop a database of hydrate occurrence across Europe. We identified a series of regions where there is substantial evidence for hydrate occurrence (some areas offshore Greenland, offshore west Svalbard, the Barents Sea, the mid-Norwegian margin, the Gulf of Cadiz, parts of the eastern Mediterranean, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea) and regions where the evidence is more tenuous (other areas offshore Greenland and of the eastern Mediterranean, onshore Svalbard, offshore Ireland and offshore northwest Iberia). We provide an overview of the evidence for hydrate occurrence in each of these regions. We conclude that around Europe, areas with strong evidence for the presence of hydrate commonly coincide with conventional thermogenic hydrocarbon provinces.

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minshull_et_al_rev_v3 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 9 August 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 August 2019
Published date: January 2020
Keywords: Europe, Methane hydrate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 433430
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/433430
ISSN: 0264-8172
PURE UUID: 8747fb9b-f65d-4395-abeb-8db09e1906b4
ORCID for Timothy A. Minshull: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8202-1379

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Aug 2019 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 06:13

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Contributors

Author: Hector Marín-moreno
Author: Peter Betlem
Author: Joerg Bialas
Author: Stefan Buenz
Author: Ewa Burwicz
Author: Alejandra L. Cameselle
Author: Gunay Cifci
Author: Michela Giustiniani
Author: Jess I.t. Hillman
Author: Sebastian Hölz
Author: John R. Hopper
Author: Gabriel Ion
Author: Ricardo León
Author: Vitor Magalhaes
Author: Yizhaq Makovsky
Author: Maria-pilar Mata
Author: Michael D. Max
Author: Tove Nielsen
Author: Seda Okay
Author: Ilia Ostrovsky
Author: Nick O'neill
Author: Luis M. Pinheiro
Author: Andreia A. Plaza-faverola
Author: Daniel Rey
Author: Srikumar Roy
Author: Katrin Schwalenberg
Author: Kim Senger
Author: Sunil Vadakkepuliyambatta
Author: Atanas Vasilev
Author: Juan-tomás Vázquez

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