Institute of Petroleum Engineering

Centre for Gas Hydrate Research Publications

Abstract 101
Micro and Macro-Scale Investigation of Cementing Characteristics of Gas Hydrates
Yang, J., Tohidi, B., and Clennell, B.
AAPG Hedberg Research Conference: Natural Gas Hydrates - Energy Resource Potentail and Associated Geologic Hazards, Vancouver, Canada, 12-16 September (2004).
Gas hydrates are ice-like crystalline solids that are form through combination of gas molecules in hydrogen bonded water molecule cages under certain pressure and temperature conditions. Gas hydrates are widely considered as potential energy source. Numerous gas hydrate settings in marine sediments and permafrost formations have been identified by seismic method, bottom simulating reflection (BSR). Recently, the Mallik 2002 Gas Hydrate Production Research Well Program presented significant success in gas production from naturally occurring hydrates, which makes the potential energy source more promising. However, there are still some arguments over the global estimates of gas hydrates. This may be mainly attributed to the uncertainty of the survey methods that are applied to explore gas hydrate distribution. For instance, interpretation of seismic data strongly depends on gas hydrate cementation behaviours, as hydrate cementation will significantly alter the elastic property of marine sediments. Gas hydrates may act on marine sediments as a part of pore fluid, or a component of sediment framework, or inter-granular cement. However, the information on the cementing properties of gas hydrates are rather limited. Furthermore, extracting gas from gas hydrates in sediments may have an adverse effect on seafloor stability, which is also related to the cementation behaviour of hydrate crystals in sediments. As a result, it is essential to gain better understanding on the cementing characteristics of gas hydrates in sediments. In this communication we report on the cementing characteristics of gas hydrates in porous media using micro and macro-scale investigation. Two different experimental rigs (developed at the Centre for Gas Hydrate Research, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University) have been used in this work. They are glass micromodel and ultrasonic rig for micro and macro-scale investigation, respectively.

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