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Title: Gas hydrate reservoirs and gas migration mechanisms in the Terrebonne Basin, Gulf of Mexico

Here, the interactions of microbial methane generation in fine-grained clay-rich sediments, methane migration, and gas hydrate accumulation in coarse-grained, sand-rich sediments are not yet fully understood. The Terrebonne Basin in the northern Gulf of Mexico provides an ideal setting to investigate the migration of methane resulting in the formation of hydrate in thin sand units interbedded with fractured muds. Using 3D seismic and well log data, we have identified several previously unidentified hydrate bearing units in the Terrebonne Basin. Two units are >100 m- thick fine-grained clay-rich units where gas hydrate occurs in near-vertical fractures. In some locations, these fine-grained units lack fracture features, and they contain 1-4-m thick hydrate bearing-sands. In addition, several other thin sand units were identified that contain gas hydrate, including one sand that was intersected by a well at the location of a discontinuous bottom-simulating reflector. Using correlation of well log data to seismic data, we have mapped and described these new units in detail across the extent of the available data, allowing us to determine the variation of seismic amplitudes and investigate the distribution of free gas and/or hydrate. We present several potential source-reservoir scenarios between the thick fractured mud units and thin hydratemore » bearing sands. We observe that hydrate preferentially forms within thin sand layers rather than fractures when sands are present in larger marine mud units. Based on regional mapping showing the patchy lateral extent of the thin sand layers, we propose that diffusive methane migration or short-migration of microbially generated methane from the marine mud units led to the formation of hydrate in these thin sands, as discontinuous sands would not be conducive to long-range migration of methane from deeper reservoirs.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
  2. Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
  3. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Marine and Petroleum Geology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 86; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0264-8172
Research Org:
The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States); Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
Country of Publication:
United States
03 NATURAL GAS; 58 GEOSCIENCES; seismic amplitude; hydrate; methane migration; sand; diffusion; advection
OSTI Identifier: