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Title: Experimental Investigation of Gas Flow and Hydrate Formation Within the Hydrate Stability Zone

Abstract

Here, we form methane hydrate by injecting methane gas into a brine-saturated, coarse-grained sample under hydrate-stable thermodynamic conditions. Hydrate forms to a saturation of 11%, which is much lower than that predicted assuming three-phase (gas-hydrate-brine) thermodynamic equilibrium (67%). During hydrate formation, there are temporary flow blockages. We interpret that a hydrate skin forms a physical barrier at the gas-brine interface. The skin fails periodically when the pressure differential exceeds the skin strength. Once the skin is present, further hydrate formation is limited by the rate that methane can diffuse through the solid skin. This process produces distinct thermodynamic states on either side of the skin that allows gas to flow through the sample. This study illuminates how gas can be transported through the hydrate stability zone and thus provides a mechanism for the formation of concentrated hydrate deposits in sand reservoirs. It also illustrates that models that assume local equilibrium at the core-scale and larger may not capture the fundamental behaviors of these gas flow and hydrate formation processes.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. The Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
  2. Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX USA
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Advanced Light Source (ALS)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1477334
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1461561
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; FE0010406; FE0028967; FE0023919
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; methane hydrate formation; free gas migration; nonequilibrium; computed tomography

Citation Formats

Meyer, Dylan W., Flemings, Peter B., DiCarlo, David, You, Kehua, Phillips, Stephen C., and Kneafsey, Timothy J. Experimental Investigation of Gas Flow and Hydrate Formation Within the Hydrate Stability Zone. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018JB015748.
Meyer, Dylan W., Flemings, Peter B., DiCarlo, David, You, Kehua, Phillips, Stephen C., & Kneafsey, Timothy J. Experimental Investigation of Gas Flow and Hydrate Formation Within the Hydrate Stability Zone. United States. doi:10.1029/2018JB015748.
Meyer, Dylan W., Flemings, Peter B., DiCarlo, David, You, Kehua, Phillips, Stephen C., and Kneafsey, Timothy J. Sun . "Experimental Investigation of Gas Flow and Hydrate Formation Within the Hydrate Stability Zone". United States. doi:10.1029/2018JB015748. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1477334.
@article{osti_1477334,
title = {Experimental Investigation of Gas Flow and Hydrate Formation Within the Hydrate Stability Zone},
author = {Meyer, Dylan W. and Flemings, Peter B. and DiCarlo, David and You, Kehua and Phillips, Stephen C. and Kneafsey, Timothy J.},
abstractNote = {Here, we form methane hydrate by injecting methane gas into a brine-saturated, coarse-grained sample under hydrate-stable thermodynamic conditions. Hydrate forms to a saturation of 11%, which is much lower than that predicted assuming three-phase (gas-hydrate-brine) thermodynamic equilibrium (67%). During hydrate formation, there are temporary flow blockages. We interpret that a hydrate skin forms a physical barrier at the gas-brine interface. The skin fails periodically when the pressure differential exceeds the skin strength. Once the skin is present, further hydrate formation is limited by the rate that methane can diffuse through the solid skin. This process produces distinct thermodynamic states on either side of the skin that allows gas to flow through the sample. This study illuminates how gas can be transported through the hydrate stability zone and thus provides a mechanism for the formation of concentrated hydrate deposits in sand reservoirs. It also illustrates that models that assume local equilibrium at the core-scale and larger may not capture the fundamental behaviors of these gas flow and hydrate formation processes.},
doi = {10.1029/2018JB015748},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth},
number = 7,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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