Behavior of Depressurization in Type III Hydrate Reservoirs
- Amir Shahbazi (Computer Modelling Group) | Mehran Pooladi-Darvish (IHS Fekete Reservoir Solutions)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- April 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 191 - 205
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.1 Hydrates, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics
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Hydrate reservoirs have been categorized as Types I, II, and III: Type I hasunderlying free gas, Type II has underlying free water, and Type III issandwiched by impermeable formations (i.e., there is no underlying mobile phasebeneath the hydrate layer). The updip portion of the Mount Elbert prospect inAlaska is one example of a Type III hydrate reservoir. Depressurization in TypeIII reservoirs is characterized by difficulty in reducing pressure over a largeregion because of limited available surface area for decomposition and lowpermeability in the hydrate. This is unlike the case in Type I and IIreservoirs, where pressure could be reduced across a large surface area betweenthe hydrate and the underlying free phase. A 3D numerical model incorporatingheat and fluid flow, along with kinetics of decomposition and (re)formation ofhydrate and ice, is developed in this paper. Next, the solution behavior ofType III hydrate reservoirs in response to application of the depressurizationtechnique is studied, with the goal of understanding the interactions betweenfluid and heat flow and their effects on the decomposition region. This isachieved by exploring for 1D similarity solutions in Type III reservoirs. (Asimilarity solution of a PDE is a solution that depends on one variable whichitself is made up of the individual independent variables that the PDE dependedon). The results of this study indicate that the behavior of Type IIIreservoirs is sometimes close to that of diffusion problems, suggesting that asimilarity solution exists. This has also been shown to be the case in theliterature. However, under some other conditions, for the first time it isshown that the solution to this problem is also identical to a traveling-wavesolution, which could offer another type of similarity solution often observedin diffusive/reactive problems that exhibit frontal behavior and sharpgradients. (The traveling-wave solution or convective similarity solution is atype of similarity solution in which the similarity variable is x - vt,with v being the constant characteristic speed. This type of solutionexists for the problems in which the profiles of the dependent variables, suchas pressure or saturation, advance in time in the form of traveling waveswithout changing shape and velocity.) Conditions leading to development ofthese two types of similarity solutions are identified. The contribution ofthis work is in identifying the different solution regimes in Type III hydratereservoirs. This improved understanding could lead to simplifying the modelingof the nonlinear mechanisms involved in the process of gas production fromhydrates.
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