BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Exploration of marine energy resources

Research vessels are the working platform for marine explorations, here RV SONNE on the North SeaSource: BGR

Rated among marine energy resources are natural oil and gas occurrences beneath the seabed. The technical and economical accessibility of such resources is heavily dependent on the water depth. Today, production from water depths up to 500 m is standard. Higher depths are differentiated in deep (above 500 m) and ultra-deep (above 1500 m).

Potential future marine energy resources are gas hydrates (“frozen natural gas”). They occur in marine sediments under certain pressure and temperature conditions. New technologies need to be developed for an economical use of this potential energy resource.

Within the frame of frontier research programs BGR explores the hydrocarbon potential of selected marine areas. For the assessment of a region’s potential, a comprehensive knowledge of the geological evolution is essential. In particular, regional sedimentary basins along the continental shelfs are the targets of such assessments. Over the last years, BGR’s focus is on the passive continental margins of the Arctic North Atlantic (PANORAMA project).

The insights gained of the geological structures and therewith the requirements of hydrocarbon generation are the basis for a knowledge-based regional estimation of potential occurrences of natural oil and gas.

By means of geophysical methods, it is possible to investigate the subsoil beneath the seabed for several thousands of meters without drilling. Geological sampling enables the examination of sediments and rocks from the seafloor. Geochemical analyses of sampled material allow conclusions on the subsurface hydrocarbon system.



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