In 2000, Chevron began a project to learn how to characterize the natural gas hydrate deposits in the deepwater portions of the Gulf of Mexico. A Joint Industry Participation (JIP) group was formed in 2001, and a project partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) began in October 2001. The primary objective of this project is to develop technology and data to assist in the characterization of naturally occurring gas hydrates in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. These naturally occurring gas hydrates can cause problems relating to drilling and production of oil and gas, as well as building and operating pipelines. Other objectives of this project are to better understand how natural gas hydrates can affect seafloor stability, to gather data that can be used to study climate change, and to determine how the results of this project can be used to assess if and how gas hydrates act as a trapping mechanism for shallow oil or gas reservoirs. As part of the project, three workshops were held. The first was a data collection workshop, held in Houston during March 14-15, 2002. The purpose of this workshop was to find out what data exist on gas hydrates and to begin making that data available to the JIP. The second and third workshop, on Geoscience and Reservoir Modeling, and Drilling and Coring Methods, respectively, were held simultaneously in Houston during May 9-10, 2002. The Modeling Workshop was conducted to find out what data the various engineers, scientists and geoscientists want the JIP to collect in both the field and the laboratory. The Drilling and Coring workshop was to begin making plans on how we can collect the data required by the project's principal investigators.
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