International Conference on Gas Hydrates (ICGH) (6th : 2008)

ANALYSIS OF THE JOGMEC/NRCAN/AURORA MALLIK GAS HYDRATE PRODUCTION TEST THROUGH NUMERICAL SIMULATION Kurihara, Masanori; Funatsu, Kunihiro; Ouchi, Hisanao; Masuda, Yoshihiro; Yasuda, Masato; Yamamoto, Koji; Numasawa, Masaaki; Fujii, Tetsuya; Narita, Hideo; Dallimore, Scott R.; Wright, J. Frederick


A gas hydrate production test using the depressurization method was conducted in early April 2007 as part of the JOGMEC/NRCan/Aurora Mallik production research program. The results of the production test were analyzed using a numerical simulator (MH21-HYDRES) coded especially for gas hydrate reservoirs. This paper evaluates the test results based on analyses of production test data, numerical modeling and a series of history matching simulations. Methane gas and water was produced from a 12 m perforation interval within one of the major methane hydrate (MH) reservoirs at the Mallik MH field, by reducing the bottomhole pressure down to about 7 MPa. The measured gas production rate was far higher than that expected for a comparatively small pressure drawdown. However, irregular (on-off) pumping operations, probably related to excessive sand production, resulted in unstable fluid flow within the wellbore, which made the analysis of test performance extremely complicated. A numerical reservoir model was constructed as a series of grid blocks, including those mimicking the wellbore, to enable rigorous simulation of fluid flow patterns in the vicinity of the wellbore. The model was then tuned through history matching, not by simply adjusting reservoir parameters, but by introducing the concept that sand production might have dramatically increased the near-wellbore permeability. The good agreement between observed and simulated performances suggests the mechanism of MH dissociation/production during the test. The history matched reservoir model was employed to predict the second-year production test performance, in order to examine the gas production potential of the Mallik MH reservoir, and to provide insight into future exploration and development planning for MH reservoirs.

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