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Gas hydrate, also known as clatherate, are ice like crystalline molecular complexes composed of water and natural gas that form when gases, (mainly methane produced by microbial break down of organic matter) combine with water at low temperature and high pressure. Although Gas hydrate looks very much like ordinary ice but it burns with a soft orange flame like the pilot light on a gas stove. Gas hydrate was first produced in 1810 by Sir Humphrey Davy by bubbling chlorine gas through water under elevated pressure. In 1930s presence of gas hydrate was observed in oil & gas pipe lines. In 1970s Russian scientist postulated the occurrence of natural deposits of gas hydrate. This theory was confirmed in 1980s by recovery of sea sample in black sea. In 1990s it was estimated that amount of organic carbon recoverable from hydrate are more that all other known fossil full sources combined. The world wide amount of methane gas hydrate is estimated to be at least 1x 104 giga tons of carbon from 80 possible fields. This is twice the amount of carbon held in all fossil fuels on earth. By the end of 20th century many countries such Japan, Canada, USA, Germany and India has started research programs for investigation of gas hydrate. There are three primary conditions that must be satisfied in order that methane hydrates are naturally able to form and be preserved. These are: 1. Sediment porewaters (or rarely water column) is saturated with CH4 (free gas) 2. Sufficient pressure is available (hydrostatic pressure, P) 3. The temperature (T) of the water and sediment is suitably cold. The first condition, i.e., that the waters are saturated with respect to methane is frequently met in shallow coastal waters. There are numerous sources for this methane, but most commonly in this setting the gas is of bacterial or thermogenic origin. The combination of temperature and pressure (water depth) necessary for methane hydrate formation and stability are shown in Figure 1. In the unshaded region, the pressure is either too low (too shallow) or the temperature too high for hydrate to exist. The shaded region in Figure 1 shows the depth-temperature (P, T) region in which gas hydrate is stable. The gas hydrate stability zone (HSZ) in sediments can be delineated on a temperature versus depth profile with respect to the hydrothermal gradient (for subsea gas hydrates), geothermal gradient and clathrate phase boundary, as shown in Figure (for subsea sediments). The position of the hydrate phase boundary is primarily a function of gas composition, but may also be controlled by pore fluid composition (e.g. presence of salts), pore size, and possibly sediment mineralogy. Hydrothermal and geothermal gradients are locality dependent, and can differ markedly with geographical location and tectonic setting. The predominant hydrate-forming gas is methane, with lesser CO2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), all of which are generally produced in-situ by microbial breakdown of sedimentary organic matter. In hydrocarbon-rich provinces, clathrates may contain a more deep-seated thermogenic gas component, generally in the form of ethane and propane, which, due to increased thermodynamic stability, can shift the HSZ to considerably shallower depths.
as a pure gas hydrate layer as much as 4 meters thick
EVIDENCE FOR GAS HYDRATES
Although gas hydrate has been recognized in drilled cores. If there is no free gas below a deposit of gas hydrate. and veins within sediment and. sometimes to levels lower than the seismic velocity of sea water (1500 m/sec). Hydrate has a very strong effect on acoustic reflections because it has a high acoustic velocity (approximately 3. its presence over large areas can be detected much more efficiently by acoustical methods. the gas-hydrate-bearing zones in sedimentary sections range from tens of centimeters to tens of meters in thickness. In general. using seismic-reflection profiles.about twice that of sea-floor sediments).3 km/s . which are thought to indicate the base of the gas hydrate stability zone. there will not be a BSR and thus it will be impossible to detect the deposit by conventional seismic methods. or BSR’s. Most occurrences of gas hydrate are inferred from geophysical logs in the permafrost regions and from anomalous seismic reflectors within ocean sediments called bottom-simulating reflectors. The fact these geophysical methods
. The existence of free gas below the BSR causes a drastic decrease of seismic velocity. but most occur in oceanic sediments hundreds of meters below the sea floor where water depths are greater than about 500 meters. Gas hydrate also occurs as nodules. and thus grains cemented with hydrate produce a high-velocity deposit due to the mixing of hydrate with the sediment. in one case. laminae. Examination of 90 gas hydrate samples recovered from 15 different geologic regions indicates that most samples consist of individual hydrate grains or particles in pores of sedimentary rocks.Page 2 of 4
Gas Hydrate Stability
Gas Hydrate Stability in Ocean Sediments
Methane hydrates have been found in the subsurface in permafrost regions.
Production High pressure multi phase transfer lines from well head to the production platform where sea bed temperature is low are prone to risk of blockage due gas hydrate formation. loss of circulation.e.
. Formation of hydrates could remove significant amount of water from drilling fluids changing the properties of fluid which could result in salt precipitation increase in fluid weight of the formation of solid plug. A production technology that is cost effective and environmentally safe in yet to be developed. Production and use of gas hydrate will also release the green house gas carbon dioxide and ii. But there are two major issues related to hydrate exploration. BOP stack.choke sand kill line can result hazardous condition i. Other facilities such as well and process equipment can also be prone to hydrate formation. gas hydrate exists above the BSR. In deep water drilling the hydrostatic pressure of drill fluid column and low sea bed temperature could provide a suitable thermodynamic condition for formation of hydrate in event of a gas kick. flow blockage. i. Huge volume of gas hydrate entrapped within Earth’s surface and its wide geographical distribution makes it attractive energy resource for coming years. This can cause a serious well safety and control problem during containment of kick. A well hazard in deep water offshore drilling is formation of gas hydrates on the event of a gas kick. hindrance to drill string movement. The reflector occurs in depths of several hundred meters below the sea floor indicating the lower boundary of gas hydrate stabilityconsequently. whereas below the BSR there is free gas.Page 3 of 4
sometimes fail to detect gas hydrate may indicate that the total volume of gas hydrate worldwide is still underestimated. BSR structure and roughly parallel to the seafloor morphology along isotherms. Hydrates in offshore Hydrocarbon production operation Water based drilling fluids are used more often due to environmental concerns especially in offshore exploration.
BSRs (Bottom Simulating Reflectors) are seismic reflectors with a negative reflection co-efficient. Gas Hydrates formation in drill string. They occur at the interface between sediment containing methane hydrate and sediment containing free methane.
In 1984 the presence of gas hydrate in Indian offshore was first identified in Andaman offshore.
The presence of gas hydrates along the Indian subcontinent margins has been confirmed mainly from BSR. but it is in fact less likely to be achieved in a short-term perspective for several reasons Safe Exploitation of Gas hydrate reserve is important from environmental point of view. Realizing the potential of gas hydrates Natural Gas Hydrate Programme (NGHD) was instituted on 1997 by Govt. Methane is a green house gas which is 23 lines more effective than carbon dioxide. Even if a part of it is utilized. gas requirements will be full filled for a long time to come. will significantly
. Production of oceanic gas hydrate may seem most attractive because of the large quantities available. Presence of large deposits in Krishna Godavari Basin in east coast. Andaman offshore and Kerla Konkan basin in west coast is indicated based on analysis and interpretation of various data. The conditions for production of hydrocarbon are complicated and the geohazards involved as well as the impact on the environment are difficult to assess. If appropriate recovery technologies are developed gas hydrate could become a new clean energy source.Page 4 of 4
Indian Scenario India has resources to produce 202. 552 MSCMD (Million Standard Cubic Meter of Gas per day). Only a little is known for certain about the ultimate resource potential of gas hydrates ongoing hydrate research programs throughout the world. of India (NGHP) was reconstituted in the year 2000 to achieve maximum self sufficiency in hydrocarbon through taping this unconventional source of energy. around 1360 time the current demand of 150 MSCMD.
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contribute to our understanding of the technical challenges that must be overcome to turn this potentially enormous storehouse of gas into a producible energy resource.