The ‘excess gas’ method for laboratory formation of methane hydrate-bearing sand: geotechnical application

Lior Rake, Shmulik Pinkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Over recent years, there has been a growing interest in producing methane gas from hydrate-bearing sands (MHBS) located below the permafrost in arctic regions and offshore within continental margins. Geotechnical stability of production wellbores is one of the significant challenges during the gas extraction process. The vast majority of geotechnical investigations of MHBS have been conducted on laboratory-formed samples due to the complex procedure of undisturbed sample extraction. One of the most commonly used hydrate laboratory-formation methods is the excess-gas method. This work investigates fundamental aspects in the excess-gas formation of MHBS that are affecting the geotechnical interpretation and modeling. The work finds that (1) the measured temperature in the experimental system may be quite different from the in-sample temperature, and can reach 4 C difference during thermodynamic processes. This potential difference must be considered in investigation of hydrate formation or dissociation, (2) various calculation approaches may yield different hydrate saturation values of up to tens of percentages difference in high hydrate saturations. The calculation formulas are specified together with the fundamental difference between them, (3) the water mixture method during the sample assembling is critical for homogeneous MHBS laboratory formation, in which a maximum initial water content threshold of 9.1 to 1.3 % are obtained for a minimal fraction size of 0.01 to 0.8 mm, respectively, (4) the hydrate formation duration may influence the MHBS properties, and should be rigorously estimated according to the real-time gas consumption convergence. The outcomes of this work may contribute to the integration of data sets derived from various experiments for the study of MHBS mechanical behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22068
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

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