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Title: Gas production from oceanic Class 2 hydrate accumulations

Abstract

Gas hydrates are solid crystalline compounds in which gasmolecules are lodged within the lattices of ice crystals. The vastamounts of hydrocarbon gases that are trapped in hydrate deposits in thepermafrost and in deep ocean sediments may constitute a promising energysource. Class 2 hydrate deposits are characterized by a Hydrate-BearingLayer (HBL) that is underlain by a saturated zone of mobile water. Inthis study we investigated three methods of gas production via verticalwell designs. A long perforated interval (covering the hydrate layer andextending into the underlying water zone) yields the highest gasproduction rates (up to 20 MMSCFD), but is not recommended for long-termproduction because of severe flow blockage caused by secondary hydrateand ice. A short perforated interval entirely within the water zoneallows long-term production, but only at rates of 4.5 7 MMSCFD. A newwell design involving localized heating appears to be the most promising,alleviating possible blockage by secondary hydrate and/or ice near thewellbore) and delivering sustainably large, long-term rates (10-15MMSCFD).The production strategy involves a cyclical process. During eachcycle, gas production continuously increases, while the correspondingwater production continuously decreases. Each cycle is concluded by acavitation event (marked by a precipitous pressure drop at the well),brought about by the inability of thesystem to satisfymore » the constant massproduction rate QM imposed at the well. This is caused by the increasinggas contribution to the production stream, and/or flow inhibition causedby secondary hydrate and/or ice. In the latter case, short-term thermalstimulation removes the blockage. The results show that gas productionincreases (and the corresponding water-to-gas ratio RWGC decreases) withan increasing(a) QM, (b) hydrate temperature (which defines its stabilityfor a given pressure), and (c) intrinsic permeability. Lower initialhydrate saturations lead initially to higher gas production and a lowerRWGC, but the effect is later reversed as the hydrate is depleted. Thedisposal of the large amounts of produced water does not appear to pose asignificant environmental problem. Production from Class 2 hydrates ischaracterized by (a) the need for confining boundaries, (b) thecontinuously improving RWGC over time (opposite to conventional gasreservoirs), and (c) the development of a free gas zone at the top of thehydrate layer (necessitating the existence of a gas cap forproduction).« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.Gas
OSTI Identifier:
923421
Report Number(s):
LBNL-62757
R&D Project: G30801; BnR: AB0565000; TRN: US200804%%1120
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2007 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston,Texas, 06/2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58; CAVITATION; DESIGN; ENERGY SOURCES; FLOW BLOCKAGE; GAS HYDRATES; GASES; HEATING; HYDRATES; HYDROCARBONS; PERMAFROST; PERMEABILITY; PRESSURE DROP; SEDIMENTS; STABILITY; WATER; gas hydrates gas production Class 2 hydrates

Citation Formats

Moridis, G.J., and Reagan, M.T. Gas production from oceanic Class 2 hydrate accumulations. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Moridis, G.J., & Reagan, M.T. Gas production from oceanic Class 2 hydrate accumulations. United States.
Moridis, G.J., and Reagan, M.T. Thu . "Gas production from oceanic Class 2 hydrate accumulations". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_923421,
title = {Gas production from oceanic Class 2 hydrate accumulations},
author = {Moridis, G.J. and Reagan, M.T.},
abstractNote = {Gas hydrates are solid crystalline compounds in which gasmolecules are lodged within the lattices of ice crystals. The vastamounts of hydrocarbon gases that are trapped in hydrate deposits in thepermafrost and in deep ocean sediments may constitute a promising energysource. Class 2 hydrate deposits are characterized by a Hydrate-BearingLayer (HBL) that is underlain by a saturated zone of mobile water. Inthis study we investigated three methods of gas production via verticalwell designs. A long perforated interval (covering the hydrate layer andextending into the underlying water zone) yields the highest gasproduction rates (up to 20 MMSCFD), but is not recommended for long-termproduction because of severe flow blockage caused by secondary hydrateand ice. A short perforated interval entirely within the water zoneallows long-term production, but only at rates of 4.5 7 MMSCFD. A newwell design involving localized heating appears to be the most promising,alleviating possible blockage by secondary hydrate and/or ice near thewellbore) and delivering sustainably large, long-term rates (10-15MMSCFD).The production strategy involves a cyclical process. During eachcycle, gas production continuously increases, while the correspondingwater production continuously decreases. Each cycle is concluded by acavitation event (marked by a precipitous pressure drop at the well),brought about by the inability of thesystem to satisfy the constant massproduction rate QM imposed at the well. This is caused by the increasinggas contribution to the production stream, and/or flow inhibition causedby secondary hydrate and/or ice. In the latter case, short-term thermalstimulation removes the blockage. The results show that gas productionincreases (and the corresponding water-to-gas ratio RWGC decreases) withan increasing(a) QM, (b) hydrate temperature (which defines its stabilityfor a given pressure), and (c) intrinsic permeability. Lower initialhydrate saturations lead initially to higher gas production and a lowerRWGC, but the effect is later reversed as the hydrate is depleted. Thedisposal of the large amounts of produced water does not appear to pose asignificant environmental problem. Production from Class 2 hydrates ischaracterized by (a) the need for confining boundaries, (b) thecontinuously improving RWGC over time (opposite to conventional gasreservoirs), and (c) the development of a free gas zone at the top of thehydrate layer (necessitating the existence of a gas cap forproduction).},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

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  • In the second paper of this series, we evaluate two additional well designs for production from permafrost-associated (PA) hydrate deposits. Both designs are within the capabilities of conventional technology. We determine that large volumes of gas can be produced at high rates (several MMSCFD) for long times using either well design. The production approach involves initial fluid withdrawal from the water zone underneath the hydrate-bearing layer (HBL). The production process follows a cyclical pattern, with each cycle composed of two stages: a long stage (months to years) of increasing gas production and decreasing water production, and a short stage (daysmore » to weeks) that involves destruction of the secondary hydrate (mainly through warm water injection) that evolves during the first stage, and is followed by a reduction in the fluid withdrawal rate. A well configuration with completion throughout the HBL leads to high production rates, but also the creation of a secondary hydrate barrier around the well that needs to be destroyed regularly by water injection. However, a configuration that initially involves heating of the outer surface of the wellbore and later continuous injection of warm water at low rates (Case C) appears to deliver optimum performance over the period it takes for the exhaustion of the hydrate deposit. Using Case C as the standard, we determine that gas production from PA hydrate deposits increases with the fluid withdrawal rate, the initial hydrate saturation and temperature, and with the formation permeability.« less
  • Gas hydrates are solid crystalline compounds in which gas molecules are lodged within the lattices of an ice-like crystalline solid. The vast quantities of hydrocarbon gases trapped in hydrate formations in the permafrost and in deep ocean sediments may constitute a new and promising energy source. Class 2 hydrate deposits are characterized by a Hydrate-Bearing Layer (HBL) that is underlain by a saturated zone of mobile water. Class 3 hydrate deposits are characterized by an isolated Hydrate-Bearing Layer (HBL) that is not in contact with any hydrate-free zone of mobile fluids. Both classes of deposits have been shown to bemore » good candidates for exploitation in earlier studies of gas production via vertical well designs - in this study we extend the analysis to include systems with varying porosity, anisotropy, well spacing, and the presence of permeable boundaries. For Class 2 deposits, the results show that production rate and efficiency depend strongly on formation porosity, have a mild dependence on formation anisotropy, and that tighter well spacing produces gas at higher rates over shorter time periods. For Class 3 deposits, production rates and efficiency also depend significantly on formation porosity, are impacted negatively by anisotropy, and production rates may be larger, over longer times, for well configurations that use a greater well spacing. Finally, we performed preliminary calculations to assess a worst-case scenario for permeable system boundaries, and found that the efficiency of depressurization-based production strategies are compromised by migration of fluids from outside the system.« less
  • The Mallik site represents an onshore permafrost-associated gas hydrate accumulation in the Mackenzie Delta, Northwest Territories, Canada. An 1150 m deep gas hydrate research well was drilled at the site in 1998. The objective of this study is the analysis of various gas production scenarios from several gas-hydrate-bearing zones at the Mallik site. The TOUGH2 general-purpose simulator with the EOSHYDR2 module were used for the analysis. EOSHYDR2 is designed to model the non-isothermal CH{sub 4} (methane) release, phase behavior and flow under conditions typical of methane-hydrate deposits by solving the coupled equations of mass and heat balance, and can describemore » any combination of gas hydrate dissociation mechanisms. Numerical simulations indicated that significant gas hydrate production at the Mallik site was possible by drawing down the pressure on a thin free-gas zone at the base of the hydrate stability field. Gas hydrate zones with underlying aquifers yielded significant gas production entirely from dissociated gas hydrate, but large amounts of produced water. Lithologically isolated gas-hydrate-bearing reservoirs with no underlying free gas or water zones, and gas-hydrate saturations of at least 50% were also studied. In these cases, it was assumed that thermal stimulation by circulating hot water in the well was the method used to induce dissociation. Sensitivity studies indicated that the methane release from the hydrate accumulations increases with gas-hydrate saturation, the initial formation temperature, the temperature of the circulating water in the well, and the formation thermal conductivity. Methane production appears to be less sensitive to the rock and hydrate specific heat and permeability of the formation.« less
  • In this paper we classify hydrate deposits in three classes according to their geologic and reservoir conditions, and discuss the corresponding production strategies. Simple depressurization appears promising in Class 1 hydrates, but its appeal decreases in Class 2 and Class 3 hydrates. The most promising production strategy in Class 2 hydrates involves combinations of depressurization and thermal stimulation, and is clearly enhanced by multi-well production-injection systems. The effectiveness of simple depressurization in Class 3 hydrates is limited, and thermal stimulation (alone or in combination with depressurization) through single well systems seems to be the strategy of choice in such deposits.