Gas hydrates represent a huge potential future resource of natural gas. However, significant technical issues need to be resolved before this enormous resource can be considered to be an economically producible reserve. Developments in numerical reservoir simulations give useful information in predicting the technical and economic analysis of the hydrate-dissociation process. For this reason, a commercial reservoir simulator, CMG (Computer Modeling Group) STARS (Steam, Thermal, and Advanced Processes Reservoir Simulator) has been adapted in this study to model gas hydrate dissociation caused by several production mechanisms (depressurization, hot water injection and steam injection). Even though CMG is a commercially available simulator capable of handling thermal oil recovery processes, the novel approach of this work is the way by which the simulator was modified by formulating a kinetic and thermodynamic model to describe the hydrate decomposition. The simulator can calculate gas and water production rates from a well, and the profiles of pressure, temperature and saturation distributions in the formation for various operating conditions. Results indicate that a significant amount of gas can be produced from a hypothetical hydrate formation overlying a free gas accumulation by several different production scenarios. However, steam injection remarkably improves gas production over depressurization and hot water injection. A revised axisymmetric model for simulating gas production from hydrate decomposition in porous media by a depressurization method is also presented. Self-similar solutions are obtained for constant well pressure and fixed natural gas output. A comparison of these two boundary conditions at the well showed that a higher gas flow rate can be achieved in the long run in the case of constant well pressure over that of fixed gas output in spite of slower movement of the dissociation front. For different reservoir temperatures and various well boundary conditions, distributions of temperature and pressure profiles, as well as the gas flow rate in the hydrate zone and the gas zone, are evaluated.
Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2007
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