A Marine Controlled-Source Electromagnetic Study for the Characterization of Methane Hydrate and Free Gas Reservoirs at the Nyegga CNE03 Pockmark, Norwegian Sea

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Eric Attias1, Karen Weitemeyer2, Martin C Sinha2, Timothy A Minshull2, Marion D Jegen3 and Christian Berndt3, (1)University of Southampton, Southampton, SO14, United Kingdom, (2)University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom, (3)GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany
In recent years, gas hydrate deposits have attracted growing interest from both academic and industry research, due to their potential as an unconventional energy resource, role in climate change and concern as a geohazard to various marine infrastructures. Methane hydrates are known to accommodate widespread regions of sea sediments at depths ranging from 130 to 2,000 m along offshore continental margins, normally located close to the seafloor and often presenting pockmarks that are underlain by chimney-like structures. The Nyegga region is situated along the west Norwegian continental slope and characterized by an extensive pockmark field. The Nyegga pockmarks are manifested by bathymetric troughs, seep-associated organisms, and rich methane-derived authigenic carbonate rocks. A controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) survey was performed along Nyegga CNE03 Pockmark, where high-resolution 3D seismic data was previously collected and analyzed. The aim of this CSEM study is to characterize the hydrate and free gas distribution along the CNE03 pockmark region. 2D CSEM inversions and pseudosections were computed using the data acquired by ocean bottom electrical field receivers (OBE) and the 3-axis towed receiver (Vulcan), respectively. Initial results from both data sets, confirm the existence of a subtle though distinctive resistivity anomaly structure at the CNE03 pockmark, suggesting a shallow anomaly at the chimney center, likely to result from the presence of gas hydrate. Furthermore, a deeper and latterly extensive resistivity anomaly emerged from the 2D inversions, most probably attributed to the existence of a free gas layer beneath the base of the gas hydrate stability zone (BGHSZ). This work will contribute to accurately estimate the amount of methane hydrate and free gas both at the pockmark level and over a larger regional scale, providing valuable information in light of the fact that there are more than 220 known gas hydrate deposits worldwide.