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Three types of gas hydrate reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico identified in LWD data

July 17, 2011

High quality logging-while-drilling (LWD) well logs were acquired in seven wells drilled during the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project Leg II in the spring of 2009. These data help to identify three distinct types of gas hydrate reservoirs: isotropic reservoirs in sands, vertical fractured reservoirs in shale, and horizontally layered reservoirs in silty shale. In general, most gas hydratebearing sand reservoirs exhibit isotropic elastic velocities and formation resistivities, and gas hydrate saturations estimated from the P-wave velocity agree well with those from the resistivity. However, in highly gas hydrate-saturated sands, resistivity-derived gas hydrate-saturation estimates appear to be systematically higher by about 5% over those estimated by P-wave velocity, possibly because of the uncertainty associated with the consolidation state of gas hydrate-bearing sands. Small quantities of gas hydrate were observed in vertical fractures in shale. These occurrences are characterized by high formation resistivities with P-wave velocities close to those of water-saturated sediment. Because the formation factor varies significantly with respect to the gas hydrate saturation for vertical fractures at low saturations, an isotropic analysis of formation factor highly overestimates the gas hydrate saturation. Small quantities of gas hydrate in horizontal layers in shale are characterized by moderate increase in P-wave velocities and formation resistivities and either measurement can be used to estimate gas hydrate saturations.