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Title: Depressurization-Induced Fines Migration in Sediments Containing Methane Hydrate: X-Ray Computed Tomography Imaging Experiments

Abstract

Depressurization of hydrate-bearing sediments (HBS) can cause the movement of fine particles, and in turn, such fines migration affects fluid flow and mechanical behavior of sediments, ultimately affecting long-term hydrocarbon production and wellbore stability. In this work, we investigate how and to what extent depressurization of HBS causes fines migration using X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging. Methane hydrate was synthesized in sediments with 10% fines content (FC), composed of sands with silt and/or clay, and the hydrate-bearing samples were stepwisely depressurized while acquiring CT images. The CT images were analyzed to quantify the spatial changes in FC in the host sediment and thus to capture the fines migration during depressurization. It was found that the FC changes began occurring from the hydrate dissociation regions. This confirms that the multiphase flow caused by depressurization accompanies fines migration. Depressurization of HBS with a hydrate saturation of ~20–40% caused FC reduction from ~10% to ~6–9%, and the extent of fines migration differed with the particle sizes of the host sands and the types of fines. It was found that fines migration was more pronounced with coarse sands and with silty fines. Such observed level of FC reduction is estimated to increase sediment permeabilitymore » by several factors based on the Kozeny-type permeability model. In conclusion, our results support the notion that the extent of fines migration and its effect on fluid flow behavior need to be assessed in consideration of physical properties of host sediment and fine particles to identify optimum depressurization strategies.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon (South Korea). Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), Daejeon (South Korea). Oil and Gas Research Center
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Hydrocarbon Resources Program Head
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1477278
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 42 ENGINEERING; Methane Hydrate; X-ray CT; Fines migration; Depressurization; Dissociation; Multiphase Flow

Citation Formats

Han, Gyeol, Kwon, Tae-Hyuk, Lee, Joo Yong, and Kneafsey, Timothy J. Depressurization-Induced Fines Migration in Sediments Containing Methane Hydrate: X-Ray Computed Tomography Imaging Experiments. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/2017JB014988.
Han, Gyeol, Kwon, Tae-Hyuk, Lee, Joo Yong, & Kneafsey, Timothy J. Depressurization-Induced Fines Migration in Sediments Containing Methane Hydrate: X-Ray Computed Tomography Imaging Experiments. United States. doi:10.1002/2017JB014988.
Han, Gyeol, Kwon, Tae-Hyuk, Lee, Joo Yong, and Kneafsey, Timothy J. Sat . "Depressurization-Induced Fines Migration in Sediments Containing Methane Hydrate: X-Ray Computed Tomography Imaging Experiments". United States. doi:10.1002/2017JB014988. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477278.
@article{osti_1477278,
title = {Depressurization-Induced Fines Migration in Sediments Containing Methane Hydrate: X-Ray Computed Tomography Imaging Experiments},
author = {Han, Gyeol and Kwon, Tae-Hyuk and Lee, Joo Yong and Kneafsey, Timothy J.},
abstractNote = {Depressurization of hydrate-bearing sediments (HBS) can cause the movement of fine particles, and in turn, such fines migration affects fluid flow and mechanical behavior of sediments, ultimately affecting long-term hydrocarbon production and wellbore stability. In this work, we investigate how and to what extent depressurization of HBS causes fines migration using X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging. Methane hydrate was synthesized in sediments with 10% fines content (FC), composed of sands with silt and/or clay, and the hydrate-bearing samples were stepwisely depressurized while acquiring CT images. The CT images were analyzed to quantify the spatial changes in FC in the host sediment and thus to capture the fines migration during depressurization. It was found that the FC changes began occurring from the hydrate dissociation regions. This confirms that the multiphase flow caused by depressurization accompanies fines migration. Depressurization of HBS with a hydrate saturation of ~20–40% caused FC reduction from ~10% to ~6–9%, and the extent of fines migration differed with the particle sizes of the host sands and the types of fines. It was found that fines migration was more pronounced with coarse sands and with silty fines. Such observed level of FC reduction is estimated to increase sediment permeability by several factors based on the Kozeny-type permeability model. In conclusion, our results support the notion that the extent of fines migration and its effect on fluid flow behavior need to be assessed in consideration of physical properties of host sediment and fine particles to identify optimum depressurization strategies.},
doi = {10.1002/2017JB014988},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth},
number = 4,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Grain size distributions of the materials used: A Ottawa 20–30 sand, F110 sand, silica sit, and kaolinite, and b the sediment samples containing fines and the glass bead layer. The opening size of the screen is also denoted.

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    Geomechanical response of permafrost-associated hydrate deposits to depressurization-induced gas production
    journal, July 2009

    • Rutqvist, J.; Moridis, G. J.; Grover, T.
    • Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 67, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.petrol.2009.02.013

    Theoretical and experimental study of particle movement and deposition in porous media during water injection
    journal, August 2004

    • Moghadasi, J.; Müller-Steinhagen, H.; Jamialahmadi, M.
    • Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 43, Issue 3-4
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.petrol.2004.01.005

    Gas Production from Hydrate-Bearing Sediments: The Role of Fine Particles
    journal, December 2011

    • Jung, J. W.; Jang, J.; Santamarina, J. C.
    • Energy & Fuels, Vol. 26, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1021/ef101651b

    X-ray computed-tomography observations of water flow through anisotropic methane hydrate-bearing sand
    journal, June 2009


    Modeling Pure Methane Hydrate Dissociation Using a Numerical Simulator from a Novel Combination of X-ray Computed Tomography and Macroscopic Data
    journal, December 2009

    • Gupta, Arvind; Moridis, George J.; Kneafsey, Timothy J.
    • Energy & Fuels, Vol. 23, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1021/ef9006565

    Methane hydrate formation and dissociation in a partially saturated core-scale sand sample
    journal, March 2007

    • Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Tomutsa, Liviu; Moridis, George J.
    • Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 56, Issue 1-3
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.petrol.2006.02.002

    Methane Hydrate Distribution from Prolonged and Repeated Formation in Natural and Compacted Sand Samples: X-Ray CT Observations
    journal, January 2011

    • Rees, Emily V. L.; Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Seol, Yongkoo
    • Journal of Geological Research, Vol. 2011
    • DOI: 10.1155/2011/791815

    On the path to the digital rock physics of gas hydrate-bearing sediments – processing of in situ synchrotron-tomography data
    journal, January 2016


    Fabric of gas hydrate in sediments from Hydrate Ridge—results from ODP Leg 204 samples
    journal, April 2007


    Mobilization of kaolinite fines in porous media
    journal, October 1987


    A microfluidic pore model to study the migration of fine particles in single-phase and multi-phase flows in porous media
    journal, June 2017


    Lithological features of hydrate-bearing sediments and their relationship with gas hydrate saturation in the eastern Nankai Trough, Japan
    journal, September 2015


    Sand production model in gas hydrate-bearing sediments
    journal, July 2016

    • Uchida, Shun; Klar, Assaf; Yamamoto, Koji
    • International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, Vol. 86
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2016.04.009

    Partitioning of Clay Colloids at Air–Water Interfaces
    journal, March 2002

    • Wan, Jiamin; Tokunaga, Tetsu K.
    • Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol. 247, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1006/jcis.2001.8132

    Mathematical modelling of fines migration in geothermal reservoirs
    journal, January 2016


    Methane hydrate formation in turbidite sediments of northern Cascadia, IODP Expedition 311
    journal, July 2008

    • Torres, M. E.; Tréhu, A. M.; Cespedes, N.
    • Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 271, Issue 1-4
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.03.061

    A stochastic model for filtration of particulate suspensions with incomplete pore plugging
    journal, November 2006

    • Shapiro, A. A.; Bedrikovetsky, P. G.; Santos, A.
    • Transport in Porous Media, Vol. 67, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1007/s11242-006-0029-5

    Upscaling of Stochastic Micro Model for Suspension Transport in Porous Media
    journal, April 2008


    Clathrate Hydrates
    journal, May 2000


    Particle Detachment Under Velocity Alternation During Suspension Transport in Porous Media
    journal, September 2011

    • Bedrikovetsky, Pavel; Zeinijahromi, Abbas; Siqueira, Fernando D.
    • Transport in Porous Media, Vol. 91, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1007/s11242-011-9839-1

    Factors controlling the hydrodynamic detachment of particles from surfaces
    journal, March 1992

    • Sharma, Mukul M.; Chamoun, Habib; Sarma, D. S. H. Sita Rama
    • Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol. 149, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1016/0021-9797(92)90398-6

    Fines migration in sediments containing methane hydrate during depressurization
    dataset, January 2018


    Particle transport in porous media: The role of inertial effects and path tortuosity in the velocity of the particles
    journal, November 2009

    • Kampel, Guido; Goldsztein, Guillermo H.; Santamarina, Juan C.
    • Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 95, Issue 19
    • DOI: 10.1063/1.3263718