Well testing in gas hydrate reservoirs

by Melvin Njumbe Kome

Institution: TU Bergakademie Freiberg
Department: Geowissenschaften, Geotechnik und Bergbau
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1117313
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:105-qucosa-160567


Reservoir testing and analysis are fundamental tools in understanding reservoir hydraulics and hence forecasting reservoir responses. The quality of the analysis is very dependent on the conceptual model used in investigating the responses under different flowing conditions. The use of reservoir testing in the characterization and derivation of reservoir parameters is widely established, especially in conventional oil and gas reservoirs. However, with depleting conventional reserves, the quest for unconventional reservoirs to secure the increasing demand for energy is increasing; which has triggered intensive research in the fields of reservoir characterization. Gas hydrate reservoirs, being one of the unconventional gas reservoirs with huge energy potential, is still in the juvenile stage with reservoir testing as compared to the other unconventional reservoirs. The endothermic dissociation hydrates to gas and water requires addressing multiphase flow and heat energy balance, which has made efforts to develop reservoir testing models in this field difficult. As of now, analytically quantifying the effect on hydrate dissociation on rate and pressure transient responses are till date a huge challenge. During depressurization, the heat energy stored in the reservoir is used up and due to the endothermic nature of the dissociation; heat flux begins from the confining layers. For Class 3 gas hydrates, just heat conduction would be responsible for the heat influx and further hydrate dissociation; however, the moving boundary problem could also be an issue to address in this reservoir, depending on the equilibrium pressure. To address heat flux problem, a proper definition of the inner boundary condition for temperature propagation using a Clausius-Clapeyron type hydrate equilibrium model is required. In Class 1 and 2, crossflow problems would occur and depending on the layer of production, convective heat influx from the free fluid layer and heat conduction from the cap rock of the hydrate layer would be further issues to address. All these phenomena make the derivation of a suitable reservoir testing model very complex. However, with a strong combination of heat energy and mass balance techniques, a representative diffusivity equation can be derived. Reservoir testing models have been developed and responses investigated for different boundary conditions in normally pressured Class 3 gas hydrates, over-pressured Class 3 gas hydrates (moving boundary problem) and Class 1 and 2 gas hydrates (crossflow problem). The effects of heat flux on the reservoir responses have been addressed in detail.