The U.S. Department of Energy and Texaco Inc., representing the 22-company DeepStar Project, have signed a research and development agreement to examine how oil and gas behave in subsea pipelines.
They will build a 41/2-mile, 6-in. "flow assurance" test loop at the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (Rmotc) at Teapot Dome field near Casper, Wyo.
DOE said DeepStar partners are interested in how and why gas hydrates form in offshore pipelines. Hydrates exist naturally in deepwater environments and have long been viewed as a potential supply of nonconventional natural gas. But when a combination of low temperatures and elevated pressures causes them to form in pipelines, they can c...