Hydraulic and Mechanical Effects from Gas Hydrate Conversion and Secondary Gas Hydrate Formation during Injection of CO2 into CH4-Hydrate-Bearing Sediments

Monday, 15 December 2014
Christian Deusner1, Elke Kossel1, Nikolaus Bigalke1, Judith Maria Schicks2, Erik Spangenberg2, Mike Priegnitz2, Katja U Heeschen2, Sven Abendroth2, Jan Thaler2 and Matthias Haeckel1, (1)GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany, (2)Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
The injection of CO2 into CH4-hydrate-bearing sediments has the potential to drive natural gas production and simultaneously sequester CO2 by hydrate conversion. The process aims at maintaining the in situ hydrate saturation and structure and causing limited impact on soil hydraulic properties and geomechanical stability. However, to increase hydrate conversion yields and rates it must potentially be assisted by thermal stimulation or depressurization. Further, secondary formation of CO2-rich hydrates from pore water and injected CO2 enhances hydrate conversion and CH4 production yields [1]. Technical stimulation and secondary hydrate formation add significant complexity to the bulk conversion process resulting in spatial and temporal effects on hydraulic and geomechanical properties that cannot be predicted by current reservoir simulation codes. In a combined experimental and numerical approach, it is our objective to elucidate both hydraulic and mechanical effects of CO2 injection and CH4-CO2-hydrate conversion in CH4-hydrate bearing soils. For the experimental approach we used various high-pressure flow-through systems equipped with different online and in situ monitoring tools (e.g. Raman microscopy, MRI and ERT). One particular focus was the design of triaxial cell experimental systems, which enable us to study sample behavior even during large deformations and particle flow. We present results from various flow-through high-pressure experimental studies on different scales, which indicate that hydraulic and geomechanical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments are drastically altered during and after injection of CO2. We discuss the results in light of the competing processes of hydrate dissociation, hydrate conversion and secondary hydrate formation. Our results will also contribute to the understanding of effects of temperature and pressure changes leading to dissociation of gas hydrates in ocean and permafrost systems.

[1] Deusner C, Bigalke N, Kossel E, Haeckel M. Methane Production from Gas Hydrate Deposits through Injection of Supercritical CO2. Energies 2012:5(7): 2112-2140.