Stanford University

Modeling Gas Hydrates

ClockFebruary 07, 2017

Laura Dafov and Zachary Burton, PhD students in the Basin & Petroleum System Modeling (BPSM) Group and fellows of the Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), won the 2017 Global Energy Forum (GEF) video competition with a video on their pioneering efforts in the modeling of gas hydrate systems.

Dafov and Burton – working in the Gulf of Mexico and New Zealand, respectively – evaluate the evolution of sedimentary basins and petroleum systems through time to make volumetric predictions of gas hydrate deposits. They integrate their research on past earth climate, microbiological and thermal activity, geologic deposition via fluvial and marine systems, and tectonic processes including mountain-building, faulting, and salt movement to assess exploration risk and economic viability of oil, gas, and gas hydrate deposits as well as to guide sampling for scientific expeditions.

The pair served as ambassadors of Stanford’s energy community and displayed their innovative research at the Global Energy Forum in Beaver Creek, Colorado last month. This Friday (Feb. 10th) Dafov and Burton will speak as invited panelists at Cleantech Week at the PG&E Energy Center in San Francisco, California. They will present their video from the Global Energy Forum, will speak about the forum experience, and will discuss their research on a panel titled "Stanford Student Research and Energy Leadership".

The Global Energy Forum is organized by the Global Energy Forum Foundation, the Stanford University Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Stanford University Precourt Energy Efficiency Center. The forum brings together government and energy industry leaders, top scientific researchers, entrepreneurs, and students from leading universities for a rigorous investigation of our global energy future.

The Global Energy Forum video competition, sponsored by Stanford’s Precourt Institute and the Stanford Energy Club, is open to all undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs. Winners receive registration, airfare, and accommodations for the two-day forum. Laura and Zack’s video was one of four chosen by the selection committee to be displayed throughout the conference alongside relevant sessions and panel discussions.

The 2017 Cleantech Week is hosted by Cleantech Open (CTO), the largest clean technology innovation network in the world. During its 11th annual forum, CTO is bringing together innovators and entrepreneurs of the cleantech industry to further large-scale investment, revenue opportunities, and talent acquisition.

For more information – and to keep up on Laura and Zack’s research – contact Laura Dafov ( or Zack Burton (

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