Mallik Gas Hydrate Production Research Program

Main Project Contact:
Pippa Seccombe-Hett

Project Start Date:

Project End Date:

Project Name:
Mallik Gas Hydrate Production Research Program

Gas hydrates are crystalline substances composed of water and gas, in which a solid water-lattice accommodates gas molecules in a cage-like, clathrate structure. Past research by the Geological Survey of Canada, under NRCan, has documented the widespread occurrence of gas hydrates in a variety of Arctic settings including the collection of the first gas hydrate samples form within ice-bonded permafrost from a site in the Mackenzie Delta. This research has raised a number of concerns for resource and hazard assessment and for global change studies in Arctic areas.

Natural gas hydrates represent an immense hydrocarbon resource underlying large portions of the world's arctic continental areas and continental shelves. While these deposits ultimately may yield important sources of energy for the world, scientific and engineering research needs to be undertaken to make their production feasible. In addition to these very practical interests, there is mounting scientific evidence that natural gas hydrates have had a very significant role in enhancing the pace of global climate change through the release of methane, a greenhouse gas some 21 times more active than carbon dioxide. In the above context, the Principal Investigators have formed an international consortium that will establish a world research site for the study of continental natural gas hydrates in the Mackenzie Delta of the northwestern Canadian Arctic. This site, the Mallik gas hydrate field, was discovered through an exploration well drilled by Imperial Oil Ltd. in 1971-1972..

The Mackenzie River Delta

Field activities for this project will be covered under various permits being applied for the engineering operations. Scientific studies being conducted as part of this research will be mainly laboratory oriented to research on the geology, geochemistry, permafrost and gas hydrate properties of drill cores, interpretation of geophysical data and other fundamental research. The Geological Survey of Canada will supervise this research and disseminate results through various media including a CD-ROM, scientific articles and GSC Maps and other publications.


Complete a 1150m deep research well at site 1998
Complete a 1200m deep production research well at 2 sites 2002
Characterize gas hydrates at site 2007 - 2008








External Partners:
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)
Natural Resources Canada

Petroleum, Exploration drilling, Geochemistry, Hydrates, Beaufort Delta

Additional Information:
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