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Geological reservoir characterization of a gas hydrate prospect associated with the Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well, Alaska North Slope

July 26, 2022

Geological reservoir characterization is essential for accurate evaluation of gas production performance from gas hydrate reservoirs. Particularly, the understanding of reservoir architecture and heterogeneity is of great importance since these are considered as major controls on fluid hydrodynamic and thermodynamic conditions. This study deals with well log and three-dimensional (3-D) vertical seismic profile (VSP) data acquired from the Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well within the 7-11-12 prospect, Prudhoe Bay Unit, Alaska North Slope and reports on the results of geological/geophysical evaluation related to the geological structure and reservoir properties of the 7-11-12 prospect. The structural trends of the target reservoirs, based on well correlations, are mostly consistent with the predrill prediction using the surface seismic data, and infer the existence of subseismic faults cutting through the Hydrate-01 well. The 3-D VSP data confirm a down-to-the-east normal fault that offsets the reservoir units across the Hydrate-01 well, which is concordant with the well identification of the same fault, and indicate a northeast-dipping relay structure associated with the overstepping normal faults. The edge enhancement attribute associated with discontinuity generated from the 3-D VSP data shows small faults/fractures, possibly as part of a complex fault network within the imaged normal fault system. These results reveal that the 3-D VSP data provide detailed structural information that is not present from the surface seismic data. The Hydrate-01 well log data confirm the occurrence of gas hydrate at high saturation in the two targeted sand units (B1 and D1 sands), and the comparison to a nearby pre-existing well (7-11-12 well) shows the same general trend in gas hydrate saturation as a map of seismic impedance generated from surface seismic data. The well log data also suggest that the base of gas hydrate occurrence in the Hydrate-01 and 7-11-12 wells is almost aligned at the same depth in both of the targeted B1 and D1 sand reservoirs. Especially for the D1 sand in the Hydrate-01 well, the resistivity logs show a sharp transition from high gas hydrate saturation to fully water-saturated within the D1 sand, suggesting a common gas hydrate/water contact. The results of this study will be used to construct the geological models needed for reservoir simulation studies and they can provide important insights into the geological factors that control the occurrence of gas hydrate on the Alaska North Slope.

Publication Year 2022
Title Geological reservoir characterization of a gas hydrate prospect associated with the Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well, Alaska North Slope
DOI 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.2c00336
Authors Machiko Tamaki, Akira Fujimoto, Ray Boswell, Timothy Collett
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Energy and Fuels
Index ID 70236242
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center