Methane hydrate offshore is tempting, perilous natural gas

Mitchell Colgan isn’t so sure. Colgan is a College of Charleston geology professor who formerly worked in exploration research for Shell Oil Co.

“The problem you face is how much money you pay for that lease,” he said. Shell Oil paid more than a half billion dollars for a lease off Alaska more than two decades ago, but that was in an area rich with beds that could also be claimed by Russia. Those hydrates are much closer to shore than those off South Carolina.

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