Comparison of the physical and geotechnical properties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments from offshore India and other gas-hydrate-reservoir systems
Winters, William J.
Wilcox-Cline, R. W.
Long, Philip E.
Dewri, S. K.
Stern, Laura A.
Kerr, Louis M.
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KeywordPhysical properties; Gas hydrate; Porosity; Atterberg limits; Consolidation; Permeability; Shear strength; Scanning electron microscopy
The sediment characteristics of hydrate-bearing reservoirs profoundly affect the formation, distribution, and morphology of gas hydrate. The presence and type of gas, porewater chemistry, fluid migration, and subbottom temperature may govern the hydrate formation process, but it is the host sediment that commonly dictates final hydrate habit, and whether hydrate may be economically developed. In this paper, the physical properties of hydrate-bearing regions offshore eastern India (Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi Basins) and the Andaman Islands, determined from Expedition NGHP-01 cores, are compared to each other, well logs, and published results of other hydrate reservoirs. Properties from the hydrate-free Kerala-Konkan basin off the west coast of India are also presented. Coarser-grained reservoirs (permafrost-related and marine) may contain high gas-hydrate-pore saturations, while finer-grained reservoirs may contain low-saturation disseminated or more complex gas-hydrates, including nodules, layers, and high-angle planar and rotational veins. However, even in these fine-grained sediments, gas hydrate preferentially forms in coarser sediment or fractures, when present. The presence of hydrate in conjunction with other geologic processes may be responsible for sediment porosity being nearly uniform for almost 500 m off the Andaman Islands. Properties of individual NGHP-01 wells and regional trends are discussed in detail. However, comparison of marine and permafrost-related Arctic reservoirs provides insight into the inter-relationships and common traits between physical properties and the morphology of gas-hydrate reservoirs regardless of location. Extrapolation of properties from one location to another also enhances our understanding of gas-hydrate reservoir systems. Grain size and porosity effects on permeability are critical, both locally to trap gas and regionally to provide fluid flow to hydrate reservoirs. Index properties corroborate more advanced consolidation and triaxial strength test results and can be used for predicting behavior in other NGHP-01 regions. Pseudo-overconsolidation is present near the seafloor and is underlain by underconsolidation at depth at some NGHP-01 locations.
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Marine and Petroleum Geology 58A (2014): 139-167, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2014.07.024.
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