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Multiple physical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments recovered from Alaska North Slope 2018 Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well

October 22, 2020

Knowledge of the petrophysical and geomechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments is essential for predicting reservoir responses to gas production from gas hydrate reservoirs. In December 2018, Stratigraphic Test Well Hydrate-01 was drilled in the western part of the Prudhoe Bay Unit, Alaska North Slope, as part of the technical planning effort for a future long-term gas hydrate production test. Side-wall pressure coring was conducted to recover gas hydrate-bearing sediments from two reservoir sections named Unit B and Unit D. A total of 34 cores were successfully recovered during five runs of a wireline deployed pressure corer, and a total of 17 cores were preserved for advanced laboratory analysis. The samples were frozen inside the pressure core autoclave by liquid nitrogen while at high pressure before being removed and stored under liquid nitrogen at atmospheric pressure. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography showed the samples were high-quality, with undisturbed lithological layers. The Unit B and D sediments were categorized as sand or sandy silt with high hydrate saturation. Gas compositions suggest the hydrates formed with thermogenic and microbial mixed gases. Permeability tests and triaxial compression tests were conducted on the hydrate-bearing sediments. Low strengthening and high permeability at hydrate saturation Sh > 80% were observed. There was a small permeability reduction during the triaxial compression tests owing to porosity loss with increasing effective stress in the highly permeable sandy sediment after hydrate dissociation. The apparent minimal changes in porosity and permeability during the tests were due to the low-clay content and low compressibility of the quartz sand grains in the recovered cores. X-ray powder diffraction and thermal conductivity analysis also suggested a high quartz content for the analyzed samples.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Multiple physical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments recovered from Alaska North Slope 2018 Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well
DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2020.104748
Authors Jun Yoneda, Yusuke Jin, Michihiro Muraoka, Motoi Oshima, Kiyofumi Suzuki, Mike Walker, Donald Westacott, Satoshi Otsuki, Kenichi Kumagai, Timothy Collett, Ray Boswell, Norihiro Okinaka
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology
Index ID 70217647
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center