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Methane hydrate – oops. The last part of a two-year project to drill and produce methane hydrates is now complete. We reported on the first part in the Drilling Advances column of World Oil's May 2003 issue. The project is south of Kuparuk River field in the Alaskan Arctic. Drilling the Hot Ice-1 well began in March 2003, using a special slimhole rig. Maurer Technology Inc. was the principal investigator for the DOE-funded project, and used a specially designed Drill Smart system developed by Noble that allowed project participants to view continuous, live data and images from the platform. In addition, vehicles called rolligons, which use large, wide tires, eliminated building an ice road. Drilling took place only in winter, so operations were suspended in April 2003 until this winter.
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