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Pre- and post-drill comparison of the Mount Elbert gas hydrate prospect, Alaska North Slope

January 1, 2011

In 2006, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) completed a detailed analysis and interpretation of available 2-D and 3-D seismic data, along with seismic modeling and correlation with specially processed downhole well log data for identifying potential gas hydrate accumulations on the North Slope of Alaska. A methodology was developed for identifying sub-permafrost gas hydrate prospects within the gas hydrate stability zone in the Milne Point area. The study revealed a total of 14 gas hydrate prospects in this area.

In order to validate the gas hydrate prospecting protocol of the USGS and to acquire critical reservoir data needed to develop a longer-term production testing program, a stratigraphic test well was drilled at the Mount Elbert prospect in the Milne Point area in early 2007. The drilling confirmed the presence of two prominent gas-hydrate-bearing units in the Mount Elbert prospect, and high quality well logs and core data were acquired. The post-drill results indicate pre-drill predictions of the reservoir thickness and the gas-hydrate saturations based on seismic and existing well data were 90% accurate for the upper unit (hydrate unit D) and 70% accurate for the lower unit (hydrate unit C), confirming the validity of the USGS approach to gas hydrate prospecting. The Mount Elbert prospect is the first gas hydrate accumulation on the North Slope of Alaska identified primarily on the basis of seismic attribute analysis and specially processed downhole log data. Post-drill well log data enabled a better constraint of the elastic model and the development of an improved approach to the gas hydrate prospecting using seismic attributes.

Publication Year 2011
Title Pre- and post-drill comparison of the Mount Elbert gas hydrate prospect, Alaska North Slope
DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.08.007
Authors M. W. Lee, Warren F. Agena, Timothy S. Collett, T.L. Inks
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine and Petroleum Geology
Index ID 70035751
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse