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Gas hydrate between science and technology

The growing interest about gas hydrates is mainly related to their importance from energetic and environmental point of view. In fact, gas hydrates are considered an energy resource but also a methane source, which could be contributed to climate change. Moreover, they could have an impact on geological hazard, such as instabilities of seafloor and effects on marine ecosystem. So, in the last years, many efforts have been devoted in order to identify the gas hydrate reservoirs, to quantify the methane trapped in them and to improve the knowledge about them through their production in laboratory and specific analysis.
Since 1990, the researchers of GIANT groups have developed geophysical methods to detect and quantify natural hydrate in marine sediments. The study areas are localized in several oceans, including Antarctic Ocean. It is worth to mention that in Antarctica the GIANT researchers on board of OGS-Explora studied an important gas hydrate reservoirs in collaboration with Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), supported by PNRA and MAE. Moreover, the GIANT researchers have been involved in several national and international projects to study gas hydrate reservoirs inĀ  several areas (Arctic, Chile, China, India, Nord Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Antarctica, and USA) applying their methodologies.
Indirect methods have been applied to study gas hydrates, such as seismic method. GIANT group have developed acquisition techniques, and procedures to invert, analyze and interpret seismic data, in order to extract elastic parameters of hydrate bearing sediments, which are indispensable to estimate hydrate concentration and distribution.
Compressional and shear wave velocities are used to estimate gas hydrate and free gas concentrations in pore space. In fact, knowing the theoretical behaviour of velocities versus hydrate/free gas amounts, it is possible to convert velocity anomalies in terms of gas phase presence and, eventually, detect overpressure condition. To reach this goal, the GIANT researchers have created two codes: ISTRICI and DRAGO.
GIANT group received two important international awards: Cagniard Award (EAGE, 1998) and Best Poster (EAGE, 2005). GIANT organized two Special Issues dedicated to gas hydrate multidisciplinary studies ( and several thematic sections: the last one in the frame of GEOITALIA conference (
GIANT group has been involved in dissemination activities also through all media facilities. See for example the participation on TG Leonardo (2008; and Geo&Geo (2013;

January, 1996 to December, 2013
PNRA, MAE, ENI, EU, University of Geosciences (Cina)