Methane hydrates have long been discussed as the next cradle of energy. Considered a resource of near infinite reserve potential, methane hydrates could supplant conventional hydrocarbon-based energy for the foreseeable future. In recent years there has been considerable activity in the petroleum industry to fully understand onshore and offshore hydrate deposits and methods of extraction and production; however, a commercial scale level has not been achieved. While there have been efforts to commercialize methane hydrate development in some parts of the world, the Gulf of Mexico remains relatively unexplored in this arena. This paper evaluates the economic viability of a commercial scale offshore methane hydrate production operation in the Gulf of Mexico—by creating a sample capital cost budget.

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