Key issues in development of offshore natural gas hydrate
As a new clean energy resource in the 21st century, natural gas hydrate is considered as one of the most promising strategic resources in the future. This paper, based on the research progress in exploitation of natural gas hydrate (NGH) in China and the world, systematically reviewed and discussed the key issues in development of natural gas hydrate. From an exploitation point of view, it is recommended that the concepts of diagenetic hydrate and non-diagenetic hydrate be introduced. The main factors to be considered are whether diagenesis, stability of rock skeleton structure, particle size and cementation mode, thus NGHs are divided into 6 levels and used unused exploitation methods according to different types. The study of the description and quantitative characterization of abundance in hydrate enrichment zone, and looking for gas hydrate dessert areas with commercial exploitation value should be enhanced. The concept of dynamic permeability and characterization of the permeability of NGH by time-varying equations should be established. The ‘Three-gas co-production’ (natural gas hydrate, shallow gas, and conventional gas) may be an effective way to achieve early commercial exploitation. Although great progress has been made in the exploitation of natural gas hydrate, there still exist enormous challenges in basic theory research, production methods, and equipment and operation modes. Only through hard and persistent exploration and innovation can natural gas hydrate be truly commercially developed on a large scale and contribute to sustainable energy supply.