Current research and development at Gas Technology Institute is focused on characterization of natural gas hydrates as an energy resource. The fundamental research objective is to develop a fundamental understanding of hydrate-bearing sediments as reservoir rocks. Specifically, the work is aimed at development of data and information required for prediction of hydrates’ dissociation rate as a function of the host rock properties such as porosity and permeability and translation of the data to prediction of production rate and ultimate recovery from hydrate saturated sediments.
To achieve the stated objective, a dedicated experiment station capable of creation and controlled dissociation of hydrate-bearing specimens and continuous monitoring of the processes was designed, manufactured and assembled. The present paper describes the interim results from these experiments.
Results to date, as presented in this paper, prove that it is indeed possible to monitor the dissociation process through ultrasonic pseudo-tomographic imaging and it is possible to develop a catalog of data relating the dissociation rates to host rock properties for a variety of sedimentary rocks. This data can be used for calibration of numerical data and provision of input parameters for flow prediction at reservoir scale. The data presented in this paper are intended to provide the proof of concept. As the work continues the intended comprehensive data set will be completed and published.