Basic Study on Production Well Integrity for Methane Hydrate Development

Monday, 15 December 2014
Masayo Kakumoto, Jun Yoneda, Jun Katagiri, Norio Tenma and Kazuo Aoki, AIST - National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan
Methane Hydrate (MH) exist as an ice-like crystal under low-temperature and high-pressure condition, and it has gathering attention as a non-conventional natural gas resource. Depressurization method is a method to reduce the bottom hole pressure by submersible pump lowering water level in the production well, and gas and water is recovered by MH dissociation at the in situ. During the depressurization operation, consolidation and deformation of sediment occurs because of increase of effective stress by depressurization and changes in the soil structure by MH dissociation. Then consolidation and deformation of sediment makes negative friction between the production well and sediment, and large stress is occur in casing. Therefore there is concern that it may cause compression failure and shear failure of the production well. For safe MH development, it is necessary to grasp the deformation and stress vicinity of the production well.

At first, we conducted push-out test to get friction strength between the different materials simulated the well and sediment. And we have done numerical analysis for integrity using by these data. The results of numerical analysis showed that the large deformation of sediment occur around the depressurization zone, and for the well, the large tensile stress in the vertical direction occur the upper vicinity of the depressurization zone.

This study was financially supported by the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21 Research Consortium) planned by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The authors thank the entire personnel related to MH21 Research Consortium.