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Gas hydrates hold huge volumes of methane, the predominant component of natural gas, in cold, high-pressure settings—on and below the seafloor in deep marine settings, and below arctic permafrost. Development of ways to produce the methane could lead to significant energy production in North America, Asia and Europe. This talk will consider the technological hurdles to commercial production.

The potential release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from hydrates subjected to warming ocean waters or melting permafrost is a question that has stimulated new research that will be discussed. Hydrates are insulated by thick layers of overlying sediments, suggesting a low risk of their releasing methane due to global warming.

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A 1 hour presentation. The distribution of oil and gas in subsurface hydrocarbon accumulations is in the first place strongly controlled by the types and maturities of source rocks that have generated the oil and gas. Sealing lithologies above the reservoirs (generally shales, tight carbonates or evaporites) prevent hydrocarbons from escaping to the surface. The role that these seals play in the distribution and relative quantities of trapped oil and gas is often understated. Seals are rarely perfect. Except for salt, most seals have some porosity and permeability allowing hydrocarbons to slowly leak out of the trap. Even at geological time-scales this leakage of hydrocarbons out of traps can be a very slow process. When the rate of leakage is less than the rate of charge, seals may appear effective. But there is a wide range of lithologies ranging from very good seals to non-seals. Ductile and fine-grained lithologies are the best seals. Sealing potential is less for lithologies that are more brittle, and/or more silty or sandy. Faults and fractures may be preferential leak paths, further compromising the effectiveness of seals. In areas of gas charge any (early) oil charge should normally be displaced by the lighter gas accumulating at the top of structures. The observation that in areas of abundant gas charge also oil may nevertheless be trapped, indicates that gas may leak out of traps preferentially – thus making room for oil. This notion should be seriously considered in predictions of the phase of trapped hydrocarbons in undrilled prospects that may have has access to both oil and gas charge. In the presentation examples will be shown of the dynamic nature of leakage and charge and of structures where oil has been trapped, despite abundant gas charge.
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Gas hydrates (also called gas clathrates) are icelike, crystalline solids composed of natural-gas molecules, principally methane, trapped in rigid crystalline cages formed by frozen water molecules.

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OTC is a big show. Since 1969 more than 2.2 million attendees have participated. Last year alone attendance reached 101,000, once again approaching the 1982 high of 108,000. And the city of Houston has derived over $2.5 billion in economic value during the history of the event.

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AAPG once again will have a strong presence at the annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which will be held May 5-8 at the Reliant Center in Houston.

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Mystery of the deep: No one knows for sure what quantity of gas hydrates awaits discovery deep in the earth, but projections are auspicious.

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Every six months, chairs of the Energy Minerals Division committees convene and report on developments in the areas they cover. In this column, we highlight important observations from these recent reports.

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Japan has taken a leap forward in natural gas production by conducting the first successful production test of natural gas from marine hydrates. Could this be the“bridge” fuel needed in the coming energy transition?

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Thus far, the subject of deep-marine sands emplaced by baroclinic currents associated with internal waves and internal tides as potential reservoirs has remained an alien topic in petroleum exploration. Internal waves are gravity waves that oscillate along oceanic pycnoclines. Internal tides are internal waves with a tidal frequency. Internal solitary waves (i.e., solitons), the most common type, are commonly generated near the shelf edge (100–200 m [328–656 ft] in bathymetry) and in the deep ocean over areas of sea-floor irregularities, such as mid-ocean ridges, seamounts, and guyots. Empirical data from 51 locations in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic oceans reveal that internal solitary waves travel in packets. Internal waves commonly exhibit (1) higher wave amplitudes (5–50 m [16–164 ft]) than surface waves (lt2 m [6.56 ft]), (2) longer wavelengths (0.5–15 km [0.31–9 mi]) than surface waves (100 m [328 ft]), (3) longer wave periods (5–50 min) than surface waves (9–10 s), and (4) higher wave speeds (0.5–2 m s–1 [1.64–6.56 ft s–1]) than surface waves (25 cm s–1 [10 in. s–1]). Maximum speeds of 48 cm s–1 (19 in. s–1) for baroclinic currents were measured on guyots. However, core-based sedimentologic studies of modern sediments emplaced by baroclinic currents on continental slopes, in submarine canyons, and on submarine guyots are lacking. No cogent sedimentologic or seismic criteria exist for distinguishing ancient counterparts. Outcrop-based facies models of these deposits are untenable. Therefore, potential exists for misinterpreting deep-marine baroclinic sands as turbidites, contourites, basin-floor fans, and others. Economic risks associated with such misinterpretations could be real.
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Integrated three-dimensional (3-D) paleomorphologic and sedimentary modeling was used to predict the basin architecture and depositional pattern of Pleistocene forearc basin turbidites in a gas hydrate field along the northeast Nankai Trough, off central Japan. Structural unfolding and stratigraphic decompaction of the targeted stratigraphic unit resulted in successful modeling of the paleobathymetry at the time of deposition. This paleobathymetry was characterized by a simple U-shaped paleominibasin. Subsequent turbidity current modeling on the reconstructed paleobathymetric surface demonstrated morphologically controlled turbidity current behavior and selective turbidite sand distribution within the minibasin, which strongly suggests the development of a confined turbidite system. Among three candidate inflow patterns, a northeasterly inflow pattern was determined as most likely. In this scenario, flow reflection and deflection caused ponding and a concentration of sandy turbidite accumulation in the basin center, which facilitated filling of the minibasin. Such a sedimentary character is undetected by seismic data in the studied gas hydrate reservoir formation because of hydrate-cementation–induced seismic anomalies. Our model suggests that 3-D horizon surfaces mapped from 3-D seismic data along with well-log data can be used to predict paleobasin characteristics and depositional processes in deep-water turbidite systems even if seismic profiles cannot be determined because of the presence of gas hydrates.
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11 February, 2010 11 February, 2010 1441 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-predicting-gas-hydrates.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
11 February 2010

Gas hydrates, ice-like substances composed of water and gas molecules (methane, ethane, propane, etc.), occur in permafrost areas and in deep water marine environments.

Gas Hydrates

Gas Hydrates
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