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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Depressurization-induced gas production from Class 1 and Class 2 hydrate deposits


Class 1 hydrate deposits are characterized by a Hy-drate-Bearing Layer (HBL) underlain by a two-phase zone involving mobile gas. Such deposits are further divided to Class 1W (involving water and hydrate in the HBL) and Class 1G (involving gas and hydrate in the HBL). In Class 2 deposits, a mobile water zone underlies the hydrate zone. Methane is the main hydrate-forming gas in natural accumulations. Using TOUGH-FX/HYDRATE to study the depressurization-induced gas production from such deposits, we determine that large volumes of gas could be readily produced at high rates for long times using conventional technology. Dissociation in Class 1W deposits proceeds in distinct stages, but is continuous in Class 1G deposits. Hydrates are shown to contribute significantly to the production rate (up to 65 percent and 75 percent in Class 1W and 1G, respectively) and to the cumulative volume of produced gas (up to 45 percent and 54 percent in Class 1W and 1G, respectively). Large volumes of hydrate-originating CH4 could be produced from Class 2 hydrates, but a relatively long lead time would be needed before gas production (which continuously increases over time) attains a substantial level. The permeability of the confining boundaries plays a significant role in gas production from Class 2 deposits. In general, long-term production is needed to realize the full potential of the very promising Class 1 and Class 2 hydrate deposits.

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