Reservoir controls on the occurrence and production of gas hydrates in nature
Gas hydrates in both arctic permafrost regions and deep marine settings can occur at high concentrations in sand-dominated reservoirs, which have been the focus of gas hydrate exploration and production studies in
northern Alaska and Canada, and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, off the southeastern coast of Japan, in the Ulleung Basin off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, and along the eastern margin of India. Production testing and
modeling has shown that concentrated gas hydrate occurrences in sand reservoirs are conducive to existing well-based production technologies. The resource potential of gas hydrate accumulations in sand-dominated reservoirs have been assessed for several polar terrestrial basins. In 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assigned an in-place resource of 16.7 trillion cubic meters of gas for hydrates in sand-dominated reservoirs on the Alaska North Slope. In a more recent assessment, the USGS indicated that there are about 2.42 trillion cubic meters of technically recoverable gas resources within concentrated, sand-dominated, gas hydrate accumulations in northern Alaska. Estimates of the amount of in-place gas in the sand dominated gas hydrate accumulations of the Mackenzie Delta Beaufort Sea region of the Canadian arctic range from 1.0 to 10 trillion cubic meters of gas. Another prospective gas hydrate resources are those of moderate-to-high concentrations within sandstone reservoirs in marine environments. In 2008, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimated that the Gulf of Mexico contains about 190 trillion cubic meters of gas in highly concentrated hydrate accumulations within sand reservoirs. In 2008, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation reported on a resource assessment of gas hydrates in which they estimated that the volume of gas within the hydrates of the eastern Nankai Trough at about 1.1 trillion cubic meters, with about half concentrated in sand reservoirs. Because conventional production technologies favor sand-dominated gas hydrate reservoirs, sand reservoirs are considered to be the most viable economic target for gas hydrate production and will be the prime focus of most future gas hydrate exploration and development projects.
|Reservoir controls on the occurrence and production of gas hydrates in nature
|Timothy Scott Collett
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Central Energy Resources Science Center