thumbnail

Oceanic methane hydrate: the character of the Blake Ridge hydrate stability zone, and the potential for methane extraction

Journal of Petroleum Geology

By:
,
DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-5457.1998.tb00786.x

Links

Abstract

Oceanic methane hydrates are mineral deposits formed from a crystalline 'ice' of methane and water in sea-floor sediments (buried to less than about 1 km) in water depths greater than about 500 m; economic hydrate deposits are probably restricted to water depths of between 1.5 km and 4 km. Gas hydrates increase a sediment's strength both by 'freezing' the sediment and by filling the pore spaces in a manner similar to water-ice in permafrost. Concentrated hydrate deposits may be underlain by significant volumes of methane gas, and these localities are the most favourable sites for methane gas extraction operations. Seismic reflection records indicate that trapped gas may blow-out naturally, causing large-scale seafloor collapse. In this paper, we consider both the physical properties and the structural integrity of the hydrate stability zone and the associated free gas deposits, with special reference to the Blake Ridge area, SE US offshore, in order to help establish a suitable framework for the safe, efficient, and economic recovery of methane from oceanic gas hydrates. We also consider the potential effects of the extraction of methane from hydrate (such as induced sea-floor faulting, gas venting, and gas-pocket collapse). We assess the ambient pressure effect on the production of methane by hydrate dissociation, and attempt to predict the likelihood of spontaneous gas flow in a production situation.Oceanic methane hydrates are mineral sits formed from a crystalline `ice' of methane and water in sea-floor sediments (buried to less than about 1 km) in water depths greater than about 500 m; economic hydrate deposits are probably restricted to water depths of between 1.5 km and 4 km. Gas hydrates increase a sediment's strength both by `freezing' the sediment and by filling the pore spaces in a manner similar to water-ice in permafrost. Concentrated hydrate deposits may be underlain by significant volumes of methane gas, and these localities are the most favourable sites for methane gas extraction operations. Seismic reflection records indicate that trapped gas may blow-out naturally, causing large-scale seafloor collapse. In this paper, we consider both the physical properties and the structural integrity of the hydrate stability zone and the associated free gas deposits, with special reference to the Blake Ridge area, SE US offshore, in order to help establish a suitable framework for the safe, efficient, and economic recovery of methane from oceanic gas hydrates. We also consider the potential effects of the extraction of methane from hydrate (such as induced sea-floor faulting, gas venting, and gas-pocket collapse). We assess the ambient pressure effect on the production of methane by hydrate dissociation, and attempt to predict the likelihood of spontaneous gas flow in a production situation.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Oceanic methane hydrate: the character of the Blake Ridge hydrate stability zone, and the potential for methane extraction
Series title:
Journal of Petroleum Geology
DOI:
10.1111/j.1747-5457.1998.tb00786.x
Volume
21
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
Sci Surv Ltd
Publisher location:
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Petroleum Geology
First page:
343
Last page:
357
Number of Pages:
15