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Analysis of formation pressure test results in the Mount Elbert methane hydrate reservoir through numerical simulation

January 1, 2011

Targeting the methane hydrate (MH) bearing units C and D at the Mount Elbert prospect on the Alaska North Slope, four MDT (Modular Dynamic Formation Tester) tests were conducted in February 2007. The C2 MDT test was selected for history matching simulation in the MH Simulator Code Comparison Study. Through history matching simulation, the physical and chemical properties of the unit C were adjusted, which suggested the most likely reservoir properties of this unit. Based on these properties thus tuned, the numerical models replicating “Mount Elbert C2 zone like reservoir”, “PBU L-Pad like reservoir” and “PBU L-Pad down dip like reservoir” were constructed. The long term production performances of wells in these reservoirs were then forecasted assuming the MH dissociation and production by the methods of depressurization, combination of depressurization and wellbore heating, and hot water huff and puff. The predicted cumulative gas production ranges from 2.16 × 106 m3/well to 8.22 × 108 m3/well depending mainly on the initial temperature of the reservoir and on the production method.

This paper describes the details of modeling and history matching simulation. This paper also presents the results of the examinations on the effects of reservoir properties on MH dissociation and production performances under the application of the depressurization and thermal methods.