METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

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Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. The ... continued below

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225 pages

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Sigal, Richard; Newsham, Kent; Williams, Thomas; Freifeld, Barry; Kneafsey, Timothy; Sondergeld, Carl et al. February 1, 2005.

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Description

Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. The work scope drilled and cored a well The Hot Ice No. 1 on Anadarko leases beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and utilized for determining the physical characteristics of the hydrates and surrounding rock. The well was drilled from a new Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a minimal footprint and environmental impact. The final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data and provide this information to scientists developing reservoir models. No gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated and is contained in this report. The Hot Ice No. 1 well was drilled from the surface to a measured depth of 2300 ft. There was almost 100% core recovery from the bottom of surface casing at 107 ft to total depth. Based on the best estimate of the bottom of the methane hydrate stability zone (which used new data obtained from Hot Ice No. 1 and new analysis of data from adjacent wells), core was recovered over its complete range. Approximately 580 ft of porous, mostly frozen, sandstone and 155 of conglomerate were recovered in the Ugnu Formation and approximately 215 ft of porous sandstone were recovered in the West Sak Formation. There were gas shows in the bottom part of the Ugnu and throughout the West Sak. No hydrate-bearing zones were identified either in recovered core or on well logs. The base of the permafrost was found at about 1260 ft. With the exception of the deepest sands in the West Sak and some anomalous thin, tight zones, all sands recovered (after thawing) are unconsolidated with high porosity and high permeability. At 800 psi, Ugnu sands have an average porosity of 39.3% and geometrical mean permeability of 3.7 Darcys. Average grain density is 2.64 g/cc. West Sak sands have an average porosity of 35.5%, geometrical mean permeability of 0.3 Darcys, and average grain density of 2.70 g/cc. There were several 1-2 ft intervals of carbonate-cemented sandstone recovered from the West Sak. These intervals have porosities of only a few percent and very low permeability. On a well log they appear as resistive with a high sonic velocity. In shallow sections of other wells these usually are the only logs available. Given the presence of gas in Hot Ice No. 1, if only resistivity and sonic logs and a mud log had been available, tight sand zones may have been interpreted as containing hydrates. Although this finding does not imply that all previously mapped hydrate zones are merely tight sands, it does add a note of caution to the practice of interpreting the presence of hydrates from old well information. The methane hydrate stability zone below the Hot Ice No. 1 location includes thick sections of sandstone and conglomerate which would make excellent reservoir rocks for hydrates and below the permafrost zone shallow gas. The Ugnu formation comprises a more sand-rich section than does the West Sak formation, and the Ugnu sands when cleaned and dried are slightly more porous and significantly more permeable than the West Sak.

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225 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00839329

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Feb 2005

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC26-01NT41331
  • DOI: 10.2172/839329 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 839329
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786910

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  • February 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Jan. 3, 2017, 12:52 p.m.

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Sigal, Richard; Newsham, Kent; Williams, Thomas; Freifeld, Barry; Kneafsey, Timothy; Sondergeld, Carl et al. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST, report, February 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786910/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.