The National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, and the U.S. Geological Survey are leading an effort to conduct an extended gas hydrate production test in northern Alaska. The proposed production test required the drilling of an initial stratigraphic test well (STW) to confirm the geologic conditions of the proposed test site. This well was completed in December 2018 in cooperation with the Prudhoe Bay Unit Interest Owners.
Drilling plans for the STW were advanced in late 2018. The Prudhoe Bay Unit Hydrate-01 well was spudded on 10-December-2018. Downhole data acquisition was completed on 25-December-2018 and the rig was released on 01-January-2019. The STW was drilled in two sections. The surface hole was drilled to a depth of 2248 ft (MD, measured depth) and cased, and the “production hole section” was drilled to a depth of 3558 ft (MD) and also cased. The primary borehole data were acquired using a suite of logging-while-drilling tools. To gather grain size and other data needed to inform the design of the production test well, sidewall pressure cores were collected using Halliburton’s CoreVault tool. In addition to confirming the geologic conditions at the test site, the Hydrate-01 well was designed to serve as a monitoring well during future field operations. Therefore, two sets of fiber-optic cables, each including bundled Distributed Acoustic Sensors (DAS) and Distributed Temperature Sensors (DTS), were clamped to the outside of the well casing and cemented in place. In March 2019, the project team worked with SAExploration to acquire 3D DAS Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) data in the Hydrate-01 well, which was the largest 3D DAS-VSP ever conducted. Additionally, since the December 2018 completion of the STW, several borehole temperature surveys have been acquired with the DTS deployed in the Hydrate-01 well. The STW met all project objectives and confirmed the occurrence of highly saturated gas hydrate-bearing reservoirs, which were designated Unit B and Unit D. With the success of the STW, the project leadership group is developing plans to drill a geologic data well and a production test well.
Read the full reports linked below:
Alaska North Slope 2018 Hydrate 01 Stratigraphic Test Well
Test Well Confirms Two Gas Hydrate Reservoirs in Alaska North Slope
Viable Long-Term Gas Hydrate Testing Site Confirmed on the Alaska North Slope