Insights into Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Study Sites GC955 and WR313 from New Multicomponent and High-Resolution 2D Seismic Data

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Seth S Haines, US Geological Survey, Denver, CO, United States, Patrick E Hart, USGS, Menlo Park, CA, United States, Timothy S Collett, USGS, Denver, CO, United States, William W Shedd, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, New Orleans, LA, United States and Matthew Frye, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Herndon, Herndon, VA, United States
In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey led a seismic acquisition expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, acquiring multicomponent data and high-resolution 2D multichannel seismic (MCS) data at Green Canyon 955 (GC955) and Walker Ridge 313 (WR313). Based on previously collected logging-while-drilling (LWD) borehole data, these gas hydrate study sites are known to include high concentrations of gas hydrate within sand layers.

At GC955 our new 2D data reveal at least three features that appear to be fluid-flow pathways (chimneys) responsible for gas migration and thus account for some aspects of the gas hydrate distribution observed in the LWD data. Our new data also show that the main gas hydrate target, a Pleistocene channel/levee complex, has an areal extent of approximately 5.5 square kilometers and that a volume of approximately 3 x 107 cubic meters of this body lies within the gas hydrate stability zone. Based on LWD-inferred values and reasonable assumptions for net sand, sand porosity, and gas hydrate saturation, we estimate a total equivalent gas-in-place volume of approximately 8 x 108 cubic meters for the inferred gas hydrate within the channel/levee deposits. At WR313 we are able to map the thin hydrate-bearing sand layers in considerably greater detail than that provided by previous data. We also can map the evolving and migrating channel feature that persists in this area. Together these data and the emerging results provide valuable new insights into the gas hydrate systems at these two sites.