Mechanical Response of Reservoir and Well Completion of the First Offshore Methane-Hydrate Production Test at the Eastern Nankai Trough: A Coupled Thermo-Hydromechanical Analysis

Yoneda, Jun (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) | Takiguchi, Akira (West Japan Engineering Consultants) | Ishibashi, Toshimasa (West Japan Engineering Consultants) | Yasui, Aya (West Japan Engineering Consultants) | Mori, Jiro (West Japan Engineering Consultants) | Kakumoto, Masayo (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) | Aoki, Kazuo (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) | Tenma, Norio (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)



During gas production from offshore gas-HBS, there are concerns regarding the settlement of the seabed and the possibility that frictional stress will develop along the production casing. This frictional stress is caused by a change in the effective stress induced by water movement caused by depressurization and dissociation of hydrate as well as gas generation and thermal changes, all of which are interconnected. The authors have developed a multiphase-coupled simulator by use of a finite-element method named COTHMA. Stresses and deformation caused by gas-hydrate production near the production well and deep seabed were predicted using a multiphase simulator coupled with geomechanics for the offshore gas-hydrate-production test in the eastern Nankai Trough. Distributions of hydrate saturation, gas saturation, water pressure, gas pressure, temperature, and stresses were predicted by the simulator. As a result, the dissociation of gas hydrate was predicted within a range of approximately 10 m, but mechanical deformation occurred in a much wider area. The stress localization initially occurred in a sand layer with low hydrate saturation, and compression behavior appeared. Tensile stress was generated in and around the casing shoe as it was pulled vertically downward caused by compaction of the formation. As a result, the possibility of extensive failure of the gravel pack of the well completion was demonstrated. In addition, in a specific layer, where a pressure reduction progressed in the production interval, the compressive force related to frictional stress from the formation increased, and the gravel layer became thin. Settlement of the seafloor caused by depressurization for 6 days was within a few centimeters and an approximate 30 cm for 1 year of continued production.