Project development plan

NASA satellite photo showing Lake Kivu's key resource data
Opportunity Location & Data Points

Resources included in the development plan

We outline in our web-site the development plan for Hydragas Energy as a gas extraction technology provider. It therefore details the development plan and funding of the company as a project developer to deploy the technology. Hence, we focus now on completing fund-raising to build a demo project in 2020. We plan to initiate a full series of up to 16 projects on both sides of Lake Kivu. Our team will move on to initiate further development of the other exciting technology applications.

Schematic of Hydragas Development Plan for IFC
Hydragas Development Plan Actions for Lake Kivu

We patented the Hydragas technology to ensure that we fully protect our know-how. The technology enables a quantum improvement of methane gas extraction efficiency from deep water-borne deposits. It therefore enables recovery from a specified range of different methane-rich water bodies globally, including lakes, seas, oceans and aquifers. In our demo project of Lake Kivu, we aim to pursue a complete proof-of-performance. This must show the highest levels of gas recovery (90%) and full compliance with the Management Prescriptions for Lake Kivu Development.

Methane resources – scale & distribution

Methane-in-water, in its various manifestations, may be the largest unexploited hydrocarbon source on planet earth. Near-shore oceanic methane hydrate deposits (in 300-3000m depths offshore) represent the vast majority of this resource. There are some 6 million tcf in situ, according to sources such as the USGS. At the same time, coal seams also account for thousands of trillions of cubic feet (tcf) in coal mine methane (CMM) and coal seam gas (CSG).

Alternate forms of methane hydrate accumulations in oceanic deposits
Methane Hydrate Formations in Polar and Continental Margins, Showing Those Subject to Climate Risk (c World Ocean Review)

Global resources of methane distribute widely around the planet. Due to their genesis, they are mostly oceanic. One can search informative papers on the subject, such as world ocean review. The origin of methane in hydrates is often biogenic in the form of permafrost-bound organic material. But significant reserves of hydrates formed through gas escaping from fracturing  “hydrocarbon kitchens” and through cracks in marine rock strata over conventional gas traps.

Hydrate resources concentrate in the Polar Regions. Fugitive gas, in zones of high hydraulic pressure from deep sea water, forms hydrates in layers or in beds of particulate hydrate in mud zones. They also accumulate adjacent to subduction faults on the margins of tectonic plates. For example, one can find major deposits off the North American West Coast and the Nankai Trough off Japan. Estimated methane in water is an energy resource potentially larger than all oil, conventional gas and coal combined.

Exploitation and benefits

However, the world exploits very little of these hydrate sources due their remoteness and to a lack of appropriate methods. Therefore, the various resource forms have a high and growing risk of escape to atmosphere. However, exploitation will reduce the greenhouse gas threat, if done correctly. Our calculated carbon mitigation is more than 2 Gt by implementing the full project plan. We need to perform this mitigation by controlled combustion of produced methane to carbon dioxide, while generating useful energy efficiently.

We are focusing our initial projects on Lake Kivu, between Rwanda and DRC. This lake contains a renewable methane resource of over 2.2 tcf, or 65 billion cubic metres. It grows steadily, fueled by the world’s largest natural bio-digester.

Project drivers for development plan

We intend to use Lake Kivu as our first major project for a number of important and urgent reasons. These are technical, environmental, social and economic. We drive this project by acting on these principles from the MPs:

Pilot-project crew assembling the riser pipe in 2004
Repairs on the Kivu Pilot Project
  • Social Responsibility: We take on our social responsibility with a sense of urgency to make this resource safe. Our plan to achieve this is by harvesting the methane to reduce both the risk and severity of eruption, before it can be triggered. An eruption will threaten millions of people around it, with exposure to a toxic gas cloud from erupting gas. We seek to preempt this predicted major natural disaster that has an increasing of risk over time within the next 70 years;
  • Environmental Responsibility: The need to avert the consequent environmental release of two billion tons of carbon (equivalent) in a single-day event of a limnic gas eruption. Removing methane is the most effective approach;
  • Community Benefit: Enabling the harvest to achieve its potential $60 billion, has a great economic impact on Rwanda and DRC. We achieve this by converting the methane resource to power, pipeline gas and other potential energy products. These are outputs that will reduce the cost of energy and increase tax revenues of the host countries. The most widespread benefit may come from natural gas distribution to homes, to replace more expensive charcoal and even firewood.