The Pliocene and Pleistocene sediments at lease block Green Canyon 955 (GC955) in the Gulf of Mexico include sand-rich strata with high saturations of gas hydrate; these gas hydrate accumulations and the associated geology have been characterized over the past decade using conventional industry three-dimensional (3D) seismic data and dedicated logging-while-drilling (LWD) borehole data. To improve structural and stratigraphic characterization and to address questions of gas flow and reservoir properties, in 2013 the U.S. Geological Survey acquired high-resolution two-dimensional (2D) seismic data at GC955. Combined analysis of all available data improves our understanding of the geological evolution of the study area, which includes basin-scale migration of the Mississippi River sediment influx as well as local-scale shifting of sedimentary channels at GC955 in response to salt-driven uplift, structural deformation associated with the salt uplift, and upward gas migration from deeper sediments that charges the main gas hydrate reservoir and shallower strata. The 2D data confirm that the sand-rich reservoir is composed principally of sediments deposited in a proximal levee setting and that episodes of channel scour, interspersed with levee deposition, have resulted in an assemblage of many individual proximal levee deposit “pods” each with horizontal extent up to several hundred meters. Joint analysis of the 2D and 3D data reveals new detail of a complex fault network that controls the fluid-flow system; large east-west trending normal faults allow fluid flow through the reservoir-sealing fine-grained unit, and smaller north-south oriented faults provide focused fluid-flow pathways (chimneys) through the shallower sediments. This system has enabled the flow of gas from the main reservoir to the seafloor throughout the recent history at GC955, and its intricacies help explain the distributed occurrences of gas hydrate in the intervening strata.
Additional publication details
High-resolution seismic characterization of the gas and gas hydrate system at Green Canyon 955, Gulf of Mexico, USA