We use multi phase flow modeling and field examples (Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon and Blake Ridge, offshore North Carolina) to demonstrate that the methane hydrate reservoir system links traditional and non- traditional hydrocarbon system components: free gas flow is a fundamental control on this system. As in a traditional hydrocarbon reservoir, gas migrates into the hydrate reservoir as a separate phase (secondary migration) where it is trapped in a gas column beneath the base of the hydrate layer. With sufficient gas supply, buoyancy forces exceed either the capillary entry pressure of the cap rock or the fracture strength of the cap rock, and gas leaks into the hydrate stability zone, or cap rock. When gas enters the hydrate stability zone and forms hydrate, it becomes a very non traditional reservoir. Free gas forms hydrate, depletes water, and elevates salinity until pore water is too saline for further hydrate formation: salinity and hydrate concentration increase upwards from the base of the regional hydrate stability zone (RHSZ) to the seafloor and the base of the hydrate stability zone has significant topography. Gas chimneys couple the free gas zone to the seafloor through high salinity conduits that are maintained at the three-phase boundary by gas flow. As a result, significant amounts of gaseous methane can bypass the RHSZ, which implies a significantly smaller hydrate reservoir than previously envisioned. Hydrate within gas chimneys lie at the three-phase boundary and thus small increases in temperature or decreases in pressure can immediately transport methane into the ocean. This type of hydrate deposit may be the most economical for producing energy because it has very high methane concentrations (Sh > 70%) located near the seafloor, which lie on the three-phase boundary.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 3004 Gas and hydrate systems;
- 3017 Hydrothermal systems (0450;
- 3036 Ocean drilling