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Title: Structural and Stratigraphic Controls on Methane Hydrate occurrence and distribution: Gulf of Mexico, Walker Ridge 313 and Green Canyon 955: Final Report

Abstract

The goal of this project was to determine structural and stratigraphic controls on hydrate occurrence and distribution in Green Canyon (GC) 955 and Walker Ridge (WR) 313 blocks using seismic and well data. Gas hydrate was discovered in these blocks in coarse- and fine-grained sediments during the 2009 Joint Industrial project (JIP) Leg 11 drilling expedition. Although the immediate interest of the exploration community is exclusively hydrate which is present in coarse–grained sediments, factors that control hydrate and free gas distribution in the two blocks and whether coarse and fine-grained hydrate-bearing units are related in any manner, formed the core of this research. The project spanned from 10/01/2012 to 07/31/2016. In the project, in both the leased blocks, the interval spanning the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) was characterized using a joint analysis of sparse Ocean Bottom Seismic (OBS) and dense, surface–towed multichannel seismic (MCS) data. The project team had the luxury of calibrating their results with two well logs. Advance processing methods such as depth migration and full-waveform inversion (FWI) were used for seismic data analysis. Hydrate quantification was achieved through interpretation of the FWI velocity field using appropriate rock physics models at both blocks. The seismic modeling/inversion methodologymore » (common to both GC955 and WR313 blocks) was as follows. First, the MCS data were depth migrated using a P-wave velocity (VP) model constructed using inversion of reflection arrival times of a few (four in both cases) key horizons carefully picked in the OBS data to farthest possible offsets. Then, the resolution of the traveltime VP model was improved to wavelength scale by inverting OBS gathers up to the highest frequency possible (21.75 Hz for GC955 and 17.5 for WR313) using FWI. Finally, the hydrate saturation (or the volume fraction) was estimated at the well location assuming one of the other hydrate morphology (filling the primary or the secondary porosity) was extrapolated out from the wells using the FWI VP as a guide. General outcomes were as follows. First and foremost, an imaging methodology using sparse seismic data, which is easily replicable at other sites with similar datasets, has been demonstrated. The end product of this methodology at both the leased blocks is quantitative estimates of hydrate distribution. Second, at both locations there is strong evidence that the base of the GHSZ, which does not appear as a clear Bottom Simulating Reflection (BSR), manifests in the VP perturbations created by FWI, suggesting that FWI is sensitive to subtle compositional changes in shallow sediments and establishes it as a valuable tool for investigations of hydrate-bearing basins. Third, through joint interpretation of the depth migrated image and the FWI VP model, how structure and stratigraphy jointly determine hydrate and free gas distribution in both blocks could be clearly visualized. The joint interpretation also suggests that the coarse and fine grained hydrate-bearing sediments at both leased are connected. Site specific results, in addition to general results, are as follows. At GC955 the overlying fine-grained hydrate-bearing unit could have been sourced from the underlying hydrate coarse-grained channel-levee complex through a chimney feature. The channel-levee system at GC955 is compartmentalized by faults, of which only a few may be impermeable. Although compartmentalized, the channel-levee system in the GC955 as a whole might be in communication except selected zones. At WR313 the overlying fine-grained fracture-filled hydrate unit appears to be sourced from below the GHSZ. The reason that only a particular fine-grained unit has hydrate, despite having lower porosity that the bounding units, could be the presence of secondary porosity (such as those formed from clay dewatering under compaction). In conclusion, the project was a pioneering effort in in joint analysis of OBS and MCS datasets for advancing the knowledge about a hydrate and free–gas system dynamics using advanced processing methods such as FWI and depth migration. Results obtained in this project can greatly advance the tools and techniques used for delineating specific hydrate prospects. Results obtained in this project can also be seamlessly incorporated into other DOE funded project on modeling the potential productivity and commercial viability of hydrate from sand-dominated reservoirs. The OBS and MCS data in this project were acquired in 2012 (after the JIP II drilling) by the USGS and therefore the results are a posteriori. Nonetheless, the seismic inversion workflow established through this project can be used to generate various what-if quantification scenarios even in absence of logs and serve as a valuable tool for guiding drilling operations. Results from this project can augment other DOE sponsored projects on determining the commercial viability of methane production from the Gulf of Mexico.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE), Oil and Natural Gas (FE-30)
OSTI Identifier:
1417193
Report Number(s):
OKSTATE-DOE-0009904
DOE Contract Number:
FE0009904
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; Gas Hydrate; Gulf of Mexico

Citation Formats

Jaiswal, Priyank. Structural and Stratigraphic Controls on Methane Hydrate occurrence and distribution: Gulf of Mexico, Walker Ridge 313 and Green Canyon 955: Final Report. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1417193.
Jaiswal, Priyank. Structural and Stratigraphic Controls on Methane Hydrate occurrence and distribution: Gulf of Mexico, Walker Ridge 313 and Green Canyon 955: Final Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1417193.
Jaiswal, Priyank. Fri . "Structural and Stratigraphic Controls on Methane Hydrate occurrence and distribution: Gulf of Mexico, Walker Ridge 313 and Green Canyon 955: Final Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1417193. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1417193.
@article{osti_1417193,
title = {Structural and Stratigraphic Controls on Methane Hydrate occurrence and distribution: Gulf of Mexico, Walker Ridge 313 and Green Canyon 955: Final Report},
author = {Jaiswal, Priyank},
abstractNote = {The goal of this project was to determine structural and stratigraphic controls on hydrate occurrence and distribution in Green Canyon (GC) 955 and Walker Ridge (WR) 313 blocks using seismic and well data. Gas hydrate was discovered in these blocks in coarse- and fine-grained sediments during the 2009 Joint Industrial project (JIP) Leg 11 drilling expedition. Although the immediate interest of the exploration community is exclusively hydrate which is present in coarse–grained sediments, factors that control hydrate and free gas distribution in the two blocks and whether coarse and fine-grained hydrate-bearing units are related in any manner, formed the core of this research. The project spanned from 10/01/2012 to 07/31/2016. In the project, in both the leased blocks, the interval spanning the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) was characterized using a joint analysis of sparse Ocean Bottom Seismic (OBS) and dense, surface–towed multichannel seismic (MCS) data. The project team had the luxury of calibrating their results with two well logs. Advance processing methods such as depth migration and full-waveform inversion (FWI) were used for seismic data analysis. Hydrate quantification was achieved through interpretation of the FWI velocity field using appropriate rock physics models at both blocks. The seismic modeling/inversion methodology (common to both GC955 and WR313 blocks) was as follows. First, the MCS data were depth migrated using a P-wave velocity (VP) model constructed using inversion of reflection arrival times of a few (four in both cases) key horizons carefully picked in the OBS data to farthest possible offsets. Then, the resolution of the traveltime VP model was improved to wavelength scale by inverting OBS gathers up to the highest frequency possible (21.75 Hz for GC955 and 17.5 for WR313) using FWI. Finally, the hydrate saturation (or the volume fraction) was estimated at the well location assuming one of the other hydrate morphology (filling the primary or the secondary porosity) was extrapolated out from the wells using the FWI VP as a guide. General outcomes were as follows. First and foremost, an imaging methodology using sparse seismic data, which is easily replicable at other sites with similar datasets, has been demonstrated. The end product of this methodology at both the leased blocks is quantitative estimates of hydrate distribution. Second, at both locations there is strong evidence that the base of the GHSZ, which does not appear as a clear Bottom Simulating Reflection (BSR), manifests in the VP perturbations created by FWI, suggesting that FWI is sensitive to subtle compositional changes in shallow sediments and establishes it as a valuable tool for investigations of hydrate-bearing basins. Third, through joint interpretation of the depth migrated image and the FWI VP model, how structure and stratigraphy jointly determine hydrate and free gas distribution in both blocks could be clearly visualized. The joint interpretation also suggests that the coarse and fine grained hydrate-bearing sediments at both leased are connected. Site specific results, in addition to general results, are as follows. At GC955 the overlying fine-grained hydrate-bearing unit could have been sourced from the underlying hydrate coarse-grained channel-levee complex through a chimney feature. The channel-levee system at GC955 is compartmentalized by faults, of which only a few may be impermeable. Although compartmentalized, the channel-levee system in the GC955 as a whole might be in communication except selected zones. At WR313 the overlying fine-grained fracture-filled hydrate unit appears to be sourced from below the GHSZ. The reason that only a particular fine-grained unit has hydrate, despite having lower porosity that the bounding units, could be the presence of secondary porosity (such as those formed from clay dewatering under compaction). In conclusion, the project was a pioneering effort in in joint analysis of OBS and MCS datasets for advancing the knowledge about a hydrate and free–gas system dynamics using advanced processing methods such as FWI and depth migration. Results obtained in this project can greatly advance the tools and techniques used for delineating specific hydrate prospects. Results obtained in this project can also be seamlessly incorporated into other DOE funded project on modeling the potential productivity and commercial viability of hydrate from sand-dominated reservoirs. The OBS and MCS data in this project were acquired in 2012 (after the JIP II drilling) by the USGS and therefore the results are a posteriori. Nonetheless, the seismic inversion workflow established through this project can be used to generate various what-if quantification scenarios even in absence of logs and serve as a valuable tool for guiding drilling operations. Results from this project can augment other DOE sponsored projects on determining the commercial viability of methane production from the Gulf of Mexico.},
doi = {10.2172/1417193},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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