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Experimental measurement and mathematical model of permeability with methane hydrate in quartz sands

Gang Li, Dan-Mei Wu, Xiao-Sen Li, Qiu-Nan Lv, Chao Li and Yu Zhang

Applied Energy, 2017, vol. 202, issue C, 282-292

Abstract: Natural gas hydrates widely distributed in marine sediments and permafrost areas have attracted global attentions as potential energy resources. The permeability of sediments with or without hydrate is an essential and critical parameter that could determine the technical and economical feasibility of gas recovery from hydrate reservoirs. The saturation of hydrate in the solid phase significantly affects the pore size, the pore volume, the distribution of reservoir pore throat size, etc., which are key factors determining the permeability of the hydrate-bearing deposit. In this study, the absolute permeability and the water effective permeability were experimentally measured with fluid water under a serials of hydrate saturations (0–31% in volume). Hydrate saturations were controlled and calculated precisely based on the amount of injected and produced gas/water, and the system pressure and temperature. Unconsolidated quartz sands with different particle size (200–300, 300–450, 450–600µm) were used as the porous media. The absolute permeabilities of the above quartz sands were 21.11, 35.53 and 52.32 Darcies, respectively. The experimental results indicated that the characteristics of the permeability were different with the hydrate saturation lower and higher than 10%. When the hydrate saturation increased from 0 to 10%, there was a sudden drop for the permeability, which indicated that the appearance and the existence of the solid hydrate phase in the porous media affected the permeability significantly. On the other hand, this effect lightened when the hydrate saturation higher than 10%. With different hydrate crystal growth habit, a new relationship between the ratio of the permeability in the presence and the absence of hydrate and the hydrate saturation was developed. Two patterns of the pore filling models with the hydrate saturation lower and higher than 10% were used to fit the measured experimental data. The overall relationship and the values of the saturation exponent were continuous and consistent with hydrate saturation lower than 31%.

Keywords: Methane hydrate; Quartz sands; Saturation; Permeability; Model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:202:y:2017:i:c:p:282-292