Gas Hydrate Resource Potential in the Gulf of Mexico

Alexei V. Milkov BP America, Houston TX This work has been done at Texas A&M University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The presented interpretations and ideas do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of BP.

U.S. natural gas demand and supply

Provided by DOE

What is gas hydrate?

Pictures provided by ODP, GEOMAR, A.V. Milkov, and R.Sassen

Global distribution of gas hydrates

After Milkov and Sassen, 2002

Earth-Science Reviews) .Global submarine gas hydrate estimates Kvenvolden (1988) ODP 164 ODP 204 Milkov (in press.

Looking for trends Milkov (in press. Earth-Science Reviews) .

Earth-Science Reviews) .Organic carbon in the Earth Kvenvolden. 1988 Milkov (in press.

2003 (bathymetry courtesy of Dr. W.Bryant) .Gas hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico Modified from Milkov and Sassen.

km 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 Salt Bacterial methane hydrates in minibasins Bacterial and thermogenic structurally-focused gas hydrates Milkov and Sassen. 2001 .Conceptual model for gas hydrate occurrence Area of gas hydrate occurrence Shelf Isolated stocks Minibasin Sigsbee Scarp 0 2 4 6 Abyssal plain Depth.

2002 Nankai Trough (???) .Geologic classification of gas hydrate accumulations Gulf of Mexico Haakon Mosby mud volcano Hydrate Ridge (southern summit) Caspian Sea Blake Ridge Blake Ridge (???) Milkov and Sassen.

2000 and Sassen et al.Origin of gas hydrates Data from Paull et al. 1999 ...

and fields after Sassen et al. 1999 .Area of gas hydrate resource estimation Gas hydrates.. seeps.

6 0.4 90.9 2.1 0.1 0.7 0.2 <0. 1999 ..2 <0.Data and assumptions (1) • Gas availability and composition (%) Sample C1 100 C2 0 C3 0 i-C4 n-C4 i-C5 n-C5 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 95.3 3.6 0.1 Data after Sassen et al.5 1.4 4.2 <0.

35 g/l • Hydrostatic pressure gradient .Data and assumptions (2) • Pore water salinity .10 MPa/km • The effect of porous media is not considered Sloan’s (1998) CSMHYD Hydrate Program was used .

1990 ..Bathymetry of the study area Boundary of the gas hydrate resource estimation area 700 Bathymetry contour lines Oil and gas seeps with chemosynthetic communities 700 Shallow and deep biogenic gas hydrate Shallow thermogenic gas hydrate 0 90 00 11 Mississippi Canyon 130 0 11 00 East Breaks 700 Garden Banks 0 70 700 900 1500 17 00 900 900 1900 00 11 2100 0 130 150 0 1300 190 0 50 km Alaminos Canyon Keathley Canyon Atwater Green Canyon Walker Ridge Lund After Bryant et al.

m 3000 Data after Wash et al. 1998 ..Bottom water temperature vs.5727 R2 = 0.9664 15 10 5 0 0 1000 2000 Water depth (B). water depth in the study area 25 Water temperature (T).08xB-0. 0C 20 T = 295.

8 18.1 Canyon 27.2 20.0 Mississippi 22.0 30.0 Walker Ridge Lund 20.3 24.1 18.7 23.5 23.7 50 km East Breaks Alaminos Canyon Keathley Canyon 17.1 20.6 18.6 22.1 23.4 30.6 Garden Banks 34.Geothermal gradients in the study area Boundary of the gas hydrate resource estimation area Geothermal gradients calculated from BHT Geothermal gradients calculated from heat flow measurements 21.7 18. (1970) .0 Data courtesy of MMS and from Epp et al.9 18.1 25.0 19.1 18.3 Green Canyon Atwater 8.

4 R2 = 0. m G = -9. water depth in the study area 40 Geothermal gradient (G).6092xLn(B) + 88. oC/km 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1000 2000 3000 Water depth (B). (1970) .5917 Data courtesy of MMS and from Epp et al.Geothermal gradients vs.

9% CH4: Tst_95. 0C 20 100% CH4: Tst_100 = 8.6877xLn(D) .908 R2 = 0.9963 90.33.Gas hydrate stability conditions 30 25 Temperature (Tst).1458xLn(D) .4% CH4: Tst_90.9991 95.148 R2 = 0.9942 15 10 5 0 0 1000 2000 Depth (D).4 = 6.50.9449xLn(D) . m 3000 4000 Calculated using Sloan’s (1998) CSMHYD Hydrate Program .27.637 R2 = 0.9 = 7.

Gas hydrate stability zones vs. 2001 . water depth in the study area Milkov and Sassen.

2001 12 00 .Thickness of the methane GHSZ Boundary of the gas hydrate resource estimation area 200 Thickness of GHSZ (100% CH4) contour lines 20 0 Mississippi Canyon 0 40 0 Garden Banks 200 0 60 0 800 10 00 400 0 200 400 600 800 Alaminos Canyon Keathley Canyon 10 00 East Breaks 50 km Atwater Green Canyon Walker Ridge Lund Milkov and Sassen.

9% CH4) contour lines Mississippi Canyon 200 400 600 800 Garden Banks 200 200 1000 400 0 60 400 600 800 800 10 00 0 120 East Breaks 120 0 50 km Keathley Canyon Atwater Green Canyon Walker Ridge Lund Alaminos Canyon Milkov and Sassen.Thickness of the thermogenic (95. 2001 .9% C1) GHSZ Boundary of the gas hydrate resource estimation area 200 Thickness of GHSZ (95.

Thickness of the thermogenic (90. 2001 .4% CH4) contour lines 50 0 0 70 Mississippi Canyon 900 300 Garden Banks 500 0 70 900 500 70 0 1100 13 00 15 00 90 0 East Breaks 50 km Keathley Canyon 0 110 Atwater 0 150 00 13 Green Canyon Walker Ridge Lund Alaminos Canyon Milkov and Sassen.4% C1) GHSZ Boundary of the gas hydrate resource estimation area 300 Thickness of GHSZ (90.

0 .4.0 sec subseafloor Top salt 2.0 sec subseafloor Top salt >4.0 sec subseafloor Top salt 1.0 sec subseafloor Oil and gas seeps with chemosynthetic communities Shallow and deep biogenic gas hydrate Shallow thermogenic gas hydrate Mississippi Canyon East Breaks 50 km Garden Banks Green Canyon Atwater Walker Ridge Alaminos Canyon Keathley Canyon After Watkins et al.Salt distribution map Boundary of the gas hydrate resource estimation area Top salt less than 1. 1996 ..2.0 .

Minibasin geometry map Boundary of the gas hydrate resource estimation area Minibasins Allochthonous salt Mississippi Fan Oil and gas seeps with chemosynthetic communities Shallow and deep biogenic gas hydrate Shallow thermogenic gas hydrate Mississippi Canyon Garden Banks 50 km Atwater Green Canyon East Breaks Alaminos Canyon Keatley Canyon Walker Ridge Lund Compiled from Koch et al. 1995 . 1998 and Risch..

000 km3 for 90.Structurally-focused gas hydrate between minibasins • The total volume of the GHSZ between minibasins: .5 vol.000 km3 for 95.~12.% of sediments • Gas hydrate yield: 140 m3 of gas per 1 m3 of gas hydrate at STP 8-11 x 1012 m3 (280-390 TCF) at STP (methane + C2+ hydrocarbon gases) .~16.9 % of C1 .4 % of C1 • Gas hydrate saturation: 0.

1 vol.~12.% of sediments • Gas hydrate yield: 150 m3 of gas per 1 m3 of gas hydrate at STP 2-3 x 1012 m3 (70-105 TCF) of methane at STP .000 km3 including Mississippi Fan • Gas hydrate saturation: 0.Gas hydrate in minibasins • The total volume of the GHSZ between minibasins: .~17.000 km3 excluding Mississippi Fan .

• Structurally-focused gas hydrate accumulations are economically viable and should be a priority for further research in the GoM. • Bacterial gas hydrate in minibasins is disseminated and not economically significant. Marine Geology) for details .~ 30-40 times more gas than in conventional reservoirs. 1995) estimate. .Summary of GoM regional estimation • Combined estimate of the gas hydrate resource in the Gulf ranges from 10 to 14 trillion m3 (~350-495 TCF) : .Significantly less than previous (Collett. See Milkov and Sassen (2001.

1999 ..Estimates of hydrate-bound gas in individual accumulations Oil&Gas Journal.

1995 Seismic profiles across gas hydrate accumulations Lee.Lee. 1995 Sager and Kennicutt. 2000 .

Submarine gas hydrate stability zone Bottom water temperature Geothermal gradient Pressure Pore water salinity Gas composition Milkov and Sassen. 2003 .

exposed gas hydrate. gas vents. and a chemosynthetic community surrounding a 50-mhigh carbonate pinnacle Sites 1249 and 1250 lie beneath 778–796 m of water A strong BSR at ~110-115 mbsf Brine (>106 g kg-1) present in shallow sediments Gas hydrate was sampled and inferred to occur throughout the section Images from Tréhu et al.. 2002 But what are the concentrations??? .Southern summit of Hydrate Ridge Explorer plate • North American plate Juan de Fuca plate Hydrate Bla Ridge n co Tra n sfor m Oregon • Gorda plate Mendocino Transform • • • • A poor but the only available drilled analogue for GoM high-flux accumulations? Southern summit: high seafloor reflectivity.

2001). 2003 . the PCS is a great tool to measure the in situ concentration of natural gases. 201. • PCS has been successfully used on Legs 164. and 204. Thus. • Data obtained from the PCS degassing experiments and properly analyzed may be used to estimate gas and gas hydrate concentration in situ. about 99% of gas may be lost (Paull and Ussler. 1992) to sample marine sediments under in situ pressure (up to ~70 MPa). • If the recovered sediment core is not pressurized..ODP Pressure Core Sampler • PCS is a downhole tool developed at ODP (Pettigrew. Milkov et al.

19×106 m3 ×115m × 13.Volume of hydrate-bound gas • Gas hydrate concentrations at Sites 1249 and 1250: ~1% to 43% of porosity (average ~11%) above the BSR (all cores taken) Area: 0.01 tcf See Milkov et al.5 m3/m3 • • • Images from Tréhu et al..19 km2 (high seafloor reflectivity) Thickness of the hydrate-bearing sediments: 115 m Gas yield of hydrate-bearing sediments: ~13. (2003. Geology) for details .5 m3/m3= = ~3 ×108 m3 = ~0. 2002 V=VGHZ×D = 0.

2003 Milkov et al.. 2003 Gulf of Mexico Milkov and Sassen.Gas hydrate concentrations Hydrate Ridge offshore OR (summit = high gas flux setting) Chen and Cathles. 2003 .

5-1.056 tcf Major uncertainty: Gas hydrate distribution . Cook and D’Onfro (1991)) Green Canyon (GC) 184/185 Water depth: 540-650 m Area: Bush Hill mound – 101.6)×109 m3 0.017-0. 2003 (based on Neurauter and Bryant (1990).300 m2 Hazy reflections – 350.175×109 m3 GH concentration: 1-10% GH composition: 77.Milkov and Sassen.5% C1 Volume of gas: (0.700 m2 GHSZ: Thickness – 370-390 m Volume – 0.

2003 (based on Sager and Kennicutt (2000) and proprietary data) Water depth: 1080-1120 m Area: 1.4-22.2% C1 Volume of gas: (11.7)×109 m3 0.Mississippi Canyon (MC) 852/853 Milkov and Sassen.5×109 m3 GH concentration: 5-10% GH composition: 75.4-0.500 m2 GHSZ: Thickness – 780 m Volume – 1.935.8 tcf Major uncertainty: GHSZ Effect of migrating brines? .

2003 (based on Brooks et al.7×109 m3 GH concentration: 1-5% GH composition: 61.000 m2 GHSZ: Thickness – 640 m Volume – 16.9% C1 Volume of gas: (25.5 tcf Major uncertainty: Gas hydrate distribution .1-126)×109 m3 0. (1986).9-4. (2003)) Water depth: 850-1000 m Area: 26.Green Canyon (GC) 204 Milkov and Sassen. Sassen et al.131.

9% C1 Volume of gas: (16-32)×109 m3 0.000 m2 GHSZ: Thickness – 380 m Volume – 2.2×109 m3 GH concentration: 5-10% GH composition: 91.6-1. 2003 (based on Sager and Kennicutt (2000) and proprietary data) Water depth: 1920-1940 m Area: 5.Atwater Valley (AT) 425/426 Milkov and Sassen.1 tcf Major uncertainty: GHSZ Effect of migrating brines? .650.

4-36.13 1.5 High Low Good Low (6) High Low Average Low (5) High Low High High Average Good Average (2) High Aver.8 0.8 AT 425 19201940 160320 0.056 18.050 251-1260 0.017-0.7-14 .84 . 2003 (Marine and Petroleum Geology) for details .9-4.1 4.2-237 .9 0.Resource and economic potential Characteristic Water depth (m) Resource (m3 (×108)) (tcf) Recovery factor Development and production costs Infrastructure Economic potential (rank) GC 184/185 500-650 GC 234/235 500-670 B 88 650-750 MC 798/842 807-820 GC 204 850-1000 MC 852/ 853 10801120 114227 0.6-1.065-0. Good High (1) High High Poor Aver (4) Average Average Good Aver.0170.4-0.11-0. (3) ow 7) See Milkov and Sassen.9-15.

What is the salinity of migrating fluids? . .No data below 6 mbsf at high flux sites.What is the composition of hydrocarbon charge? . .Major exploration challenges • Define gas hydrate plays and types of accumulations: .Are there other gas hydrate plays? Are there shallow sand reservoirs within the GHSZ accessible to hydrocarbon charge? Are there free gas accumulations trapped by hydrates? • Understand the variations in the GHSZ: .To date.What is the heat flow? . no significant concentrations at depth <40 mbsf away from high flux sites.

(NETL Gas Hydrate web site) .A new gas hydrate play? Gas accumulations trapped by gas hydrates? Image from Snyder et al.

2003 (Marine and Petroleum Geology) for details . • Chemosynthetic communities.Onshore (polar) accumulation may not be an appropriate analogue? Depressurization is not a viable mechanism? . What are the environmental implications of gas hydrate recovery? See Milkov and Sassen.Major technological challenges • No proven recovery technologies: .Thermal stimulation with chemical inhibition? But too shallow for horizontal wells? • Seafloor instability. Gas hydrates appear to be relatively stable and cementing sediments at present. but their decomposition during recovery may result in seafloor instability.

More active involvement of industry and collaboration between industry. New gas hydrate plays may emerge but need to be tested. • Some shallow structural accumulations in the GOM may provide gas reserves and deserve both attention and investment. but smaller than previously thought. . • The volume of hydrate-bound gas in the GoM may be large.Conclusions • The results and interpretations of gas hydrate resource potential in the GoM bear huge uncertainties. academia and government are the keys to the better evaluation of the prize. • The academia lacks many capabilities and sometimes lacks focus. • Significant progress has been made during the last 5 years through integration of available “academic” information on gas hydrate distribution and geochemistry.

Acknowledgments Applied Gas Hydrate Research Program at GERG/TAMU Postdoctoral Scholarship at WHOI BP America for continuous support The scientists and crew of the R. Edwin Link and the Johnson Sea-Link research submersibles.V. University of North Carolina at Wilmington and NOAA/NURP for assistance in collecting deep sea floor samples. .

Additional Slides .

400 m2 GHSZ: Thickness – 400 m Volume – 0.13 tcf Major uncertainty: Gas hydrate distribution .Green Canyon (GC) 234/235 Milkov and Sassen.7)×109 m3 0.8-3.065-0.3% C1 Volume of gas: (1. (1996)) Water depth: 500-670 m Area: 612. 2003 (based on Reilly et al.25×109 m3 GH concentration: 5-10% GH composition: 74.

4-1.000 m2 GHSZ: Thickness – 130-495 m Volume – (0.7)×109 m3 0.Garden Banks (GB) 388 Milkov and Sassen.84 tcf Major uncertainty: GHSZ Gas composition? Effect of migrating brines? .5% C1 Volume of gas: (3. (1996)) Water depth: 650-750 m Area: 3.11-0.6)×109 m3 GH concentration: 5-10% GH composition: ??-99.200.1-23. 2003 (based on Reilly et al.

017-0.Milkov and Sassen.5-1.16×109 m3 GH concentration: 1-10% GH composition: ?? C1 Volume of gas: (0.4)×109 m3 0. 2003 (based on Neurauter and Bryant (1990)) Mississippi Canyon (MC) 798/842 Water depth: 807-820 m Area: Mound – 55.600 m2 Hazy reflections – 217.050 tcf Major uncertainty: Gas hydrate distribution .400 m2 GHSZ: Thickness – 575-580 m Volume – 0.

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