Collett, Timothy S. (US Geological Survey) | Boswell, Ray (US Department of Energy) | Lee, Myung W. (US Geological Survey) | Anderson, Brian J. (West Virginia University) | Rose, Kelly (US Department of Energy) | Lewis, Kristen A. (US Geological Survey)
The results of short-duration formation tests in northern Alaska and Canada have further documented the energy-resource potential of gas hydrates and have justified the need for long-term gas-hydrate-production testing. Additional data acquisition and long-term production testing could improve the understanding of the response of naturally occurring gas hydrate to depressurization-induced or thermal-, chemical-, or mechanical-stimulated dissociation of gas hydrate into producible gas. The Eileen gashydrate accumulation located in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area in northern Alaska has become a focal point for gas-hydrate geologic and production studies. BP Exploration (Alaska) Incorporated and ConocoPhillips have each established research partnerships with the US Department of Energy to assess the production potential of gas hydrates in northern Alaska. A critical goal of these efforts is to identify the most suitable site for production testing. A total of seven potential locations in the Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk River, and Milne Point production units were identified and assessed relative to their suitability as a long-term gas-hydrate-production test sites. The test-site-assessment criteria included the analysis of the geologic risk associated with encountering reservoirs for gas-hydrate testing. The site-selection process also dealt with the assessment of the operational/logistical risk associated with each of the potential test sites. From this review, a site in the Prudhoe Bay production unit was determined to be the best location for extended gas-hydrate-production testing. The work presented in this report identifies the key features of the potential test site in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area and provides new information on the nature of gas-hydrate occurrence and the potential impact of production testing on existing infrastructure at the most favorable sites. These data were obtained from well-log analysis, geological correlation and mapping, and numerical simulation.