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U . S . D e p a r t m e n t o f E n e r g y O f fi c e o f F o s s i l E n e r g y N a t i o n a l E n e r g y T e c h n o l o g y L a b o r a t o r yVol. 6, Iss. 3Methane Hydrate NewsletterInternational Team Completes Landmark GasHydrate Expedition in the Offshore of IndiaT. S. Collett (USGS), M. Riedel (IODP), R. Boswell (DOE-NETL),J. R. Cochran (LDEO), P. Kumar (ONGC), A. K. Sethi (DGH India), A. V. Sathe (ONGC)& NGHP Expedition-01 Scientific PartyContentsInternational Hydrate ExpeditionOffshore of India. 1The Gas HydratesResource Pyramid. 5Hydrates Potential of theMid Atlantic OCS. 8Possible Gas Hydratein the Bering Sea.10In mid-August, a team of scientists from India, North America, and Europecompleted a four-month expedition aboard the drillship Joides Resolution (JR)exploring for gas hydrates in the offshore of India. Led by the Indian DirectorateGeneral of Hydrocarbons (DGH) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS),the expedition was part of the Indian Government’s National Gas HydrateProgram (NGHP). NGHP Expedition 01 was among the most complex andcomprehensive gas hydrates field ventures yet conducted. The successfulrecovery of a wealth of log and core data over a range of geologic environmentshas provided information that will inform gas hydrates science for years to come.Alaminos Canyon Block 818.12Announcements.14 Advisory Committee Meeting Update on Alaska Project Code Website Now Available R&D Roadmap Published Recent Project Reports PostedSpotlight on Research.16Martin RothfussContactRay BoswellTechnology Manager—MethaneHydrates, Strategic Center forNatural Gas & [email protected] Kumar (ONGC) and Jim Brewton (USGS) process core samples during Leg 3 of NGHPExpedition. (Courtesy NGHP Expedition 01)1

National EnergyTechnology Laboratory1450 Queen Avenue SWAlbany, OR 97321541-967-58922175 University Avenue SouthSuite 201Fairbanks, AK 99709907-452-25593610 Collins Ferry RoadP.O. Box 880Morgantown, WV 26507-0880304-285-4764626 Cochrans Mill RoadP.O. Box 10940Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940412-386-4687One West Third Street, Suite 1400Tulsa, OK 74103-3519918-699-2000Visit the NETL website at:www.netl.doe.govCustomer Service:1-800-553-7681Fire in the Ice is published bythe National Energy TechnologyLaboratory to promote theexchange of information amongthose involved in gas hydratesresearch and development.International Collaboration a Key to SuccessThe NGHP Expedition 01 research voyage was an excellent example of theinternational spirit of collaboration that continues to infuse gas hydratesresearch. This Expedition was planned and managed by DGH and the USGS,and was enabled by a long list of contributors, including the Consortiumfor Scientific Methane Hydrate Investigations (CSMHI - led by OverseasDrilling Limited (ODL) and FUGRO McClelland Marine Geosciences),the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, the Joint Oceanographic Institutes,Texas A&M University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory ofColumbia University, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National EnergyTechnology Lab. The science team was led by Dr. Timothy Collett (USGS)and consisted of more than 100 leading scientists and professionals.Project Objectives and StructureThe operational phase of NGHP Expedition 01 began with the arrival of thescientific crew in Mumbai, India on April 28, 2006 and ended 113 days laterwith the departure of the ship from its final berth in Chennai on August 19,2006. The expedition consisted of four separate research drilling, logging,and coring “legs.” Leg 1 (April 28-May 16): the JR sailed southwest from Mumbai toa location in the Kerala-Konkan basin of the Arabian Sea where itconducted drilling, logging, and coring operations. It then sailed aroundthe southern tip of India to the port of Chennai. Leg 2 (May 17-June 6): after personnel and equipment transfers inChennai, the ship sailed to ten sites in the Krishna-Godhavari (K-G)and Mahandi basins where it conducted logging-while-drilling (LWD)operations before returning again to Chennai. Leg 3 consisted of two parts. Leg 3A (June 7-June 25) began when thecrew, informed with the LWD results from the previous leg, visited twoselected sites within the Krishna-Godhavari basin for drilling, coring,and logging operations. After returning to Chennai for personnel andequipment transfers, Leg 3B (June 26-July 17) continued with additionaldrilling, coring, and logging operations at five sites within the KrishnaGodhavari region.This newsletter is availableonline at http://www.netl.doe.gov/MethaneHydratesInterested in contributingan article to Fire in the Ice? MumbaiThis newsletter now reachesmore than 700 scientists andother individuals interested inhydrates in sixteen countries.If you would like to submit anarticle about the progress ofyour methane hydrates researchproject, please contactKarl Lang at 301-670-6390 ext. 129 Chennai([email protected])Map of drilling locations2

Leg 4 (July 18-August 19): the JR sailed across the Bay of Bengal tocore and log a site in the Anadaman Sea off Little Andaman Island. Theship then traveled northwest to explore two sites within the Mahanadibasin. Finally, the JR moved southwest to further explore two additionalsites within the Krishna-Godhavari basin before returning to port inChennai. Drilling, coring, and logging operations were conducted at eachof these sites during Leg 4.Operational HighlightsNGHP Expedition 01 logged a significant number of importantaccomplishments. The crew completed 113.5 days of operations withoutsignificant injury or incident, while at the same time achieving a remarkabledegree of efficiency; only 1 percent of total operation time could becategorized as “down time” due to equipment malfunction or weather.The drilling completed during the expedition enabled the examination of9,250 meters of total sedimentary section from 39 drilling locations across21 sites located in four geologically-distinct settings. This included thecollection of LWD log data in 12 holes spread over 10 sites, wireline log dataat 13 sites, and vertical seismic profile data at 6 sites.The coring operation was particularly successful, boasting the collectionof 494 conventional cores, encompassing 2,850 meters of sediment, from21 holes (with a 78 percent overall recovery factor). In addition, scientistscollected detailed shallow geochemical profiles at 13 locations andestablished temperature gradients at 11 locations. The expedition also carriedout 97 deployments of advanced pressure coring devices, resulting in thecollection of 49 cores (up to 1-meter-long) that contain virtually undisturbedgas hydrate in host sediments at near in situ pressures.The large volume of core material provided an opportunity for extensivesample collection to support a wide range of post-cruise analyses byresearchers around the globe. Samples included roughly 6,800 wholeround core samples for examination of interstitial water geochemistry,microbiology, and other information; 12,500 smaller (5 to 20 cc) sub-samplesfor paleomagnetic, mineralogical, and paleontological analyses; 140 gashydrate-bearing sediment samples maintained in liquid nitrogen; five 1-mScience team leader Dr.Timothy Collett guiding core sampling on the catwalk of the JR(Courtesy NGHP Expedition 01)3

gas-hydrate-bearing pressure cores for analyzing the physical and mechanicalproperties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediment; and 21 re-pressurized cores (nineof which represent sub-samples from gas-hydrate-bearing pressure cores).Scientific Findings and ImpactThe number and level of expertise of the scientists on board allowed theNGHP Expedition 01 science team to efficiently utilize extensive on-boardlab facilities to examine and prepare preliminary reports on the physicalproperties, geochemistry, and sedimentology of all the samples collectedprior to the end of the expedition. Because much of the “science” wasbegun while the samples were being obtained and logged, findings andinsights should be available relatively early, despite the huge volume of datacollected. Preliminary results indicate that this expedition: Conducted comprehensive analyses of gas-hydrate-bearing marine sedimentsin both passive continental margin and marine accretionary wedge settings; Discovered gas hydrate in numerous complex geologic settings andcollected an unprecedented number of gas hydrate cores; Delineated and sampled one of the richest marine gas hydrateaccumulations yet discovered (Krishna-Godovari basin); Discovered one of the thickest and deepest gas hydrate occurrences yetknown (Andaman Islands) which revealed gas-hydrate-bearing volcanicash layers as deep as 600 meters below the seafloor; Established the existence of a fully developed gas hydrate system in theMahanadi basin of the Bay of Bengal; Demonstrated the utility of employing advanced logging-while-drillingoperations to high-grade potential sites for later coring operations; and Demonstrated a series of significant advances in infra-red imaging andpressure coring data acquisition and analysis techniques.Going ForwardThe program has now turned its full attention to assuring that the samplesand data are efficiently transferred to shore-based labs for further studyand full integration with data and insights gathered from previous gashydrate research activities. Initial preliminary technical reports on thescientific findings of NGHP Expedition 01 are expected to be released asearly as March, 2007. A final synthesis of the project’s findings is expectedto be available in 2008. Collaboration between the U.S. and India on gashydrate research is expected to continue through established and developingagreements among DGH, the USGS, and DOE.Core sample of massive gas hydrate (courtesy NGHPExpedition 01)4

The Gas Hydrates Resource PyramidRay Boswell (US DOE/NETL) and Tim Collett (USGS)Over the past six years, the U.S. National Methane Hydrate R&D Programhas worked to clarify the resource potential of gas hydrates by developing afuller understanding of the occurrence of and natural controls on gas hydratein nature. As a result of these efforts, we now recognize that the 1980s model(necessarily simplistic due to lack of field data) that portrayed subsurfacegas hydrates as ubiquitous components of relatively uniform temperatureand pressure-controlled stability zones is no longer viable. Instead, the GasHydrate Stability Zone (GHSZ) has been found to have a very complexgeometry, with significant variability due to lateral and vertical changes inpore water salinity and heat flow. Furthermore, within the stability zone, theoccurrence of gas hydrate is now recognized to be neither continuous norrandom, but instead controlled by the complex interaction of factors uniqueto gas hydrate systems (necessary temperatures, pressures, and geochemicalregimes) as well as many of the same parameters that industry has been usingfor decades to explore for more conventional resources (gas source, timingand pathways for water and gas migration, and suitable host reservoir).The recently-published Interagency R&D roadmap (see Announcements in thisissue of Fire in the Ice) recognizes that the wide range of geological settingsfor gas hydrate will produce a variety of gas hydrate occurrences. With respectto their relative prospects for future production, we present several of these keyvarieties (“gas hydrate prospect types”) within the context of a gas hydrates“resource pyramid.” Resource pyramids are commonly used to displaythe relative size and producibility of different elements within a categoryof resources, with the most promising resources at the top and the mosttechnically challenging at the base. The pyramid shape results from the naturaltendency for the most abundant elements of a resource group to also typicallybe the most difficult to profitably extract. A schematic resource pyramid fornon-gas-hydrate natural gas resources is shown, at the appropriate scale withrespect to the gas hydrates resource pyramid, in the figure below.The peak of the Gas Hydrates Resource Pyramid (those resources that areclosest to potential commercialization) is represented by gas hydrates thatexist at high saturations within quality reservoirs rocks under existing Arcticinfrastructure. This resource is currently estimated to be in the range of 33trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas-in-place (in the “Eileen” trend of Alaska’sNorth Slope). Of that total, reservoir modeling conducted within the structureof the BP-DOE cooperative agreement on the North Slope suggests that asGas Hydrates Resource Pyramid (left).To the right is an example gas resources pyramid for allnon-gas-hydrate resources.5

much as 12 Tcf of that volume may be technically recoverable. The nextlargest class of hydrate resources (shown in orange) are those less welldefined accumulations that exist in similar geologic settings (discretelytrapped, high-saturation occurrences within high-quality sandstonereservoirs) on the North Slope, but away from existing infrastructure. Thecurrent USGS estimate for total North Slope resources is approximately 590Tcf gas-in-place.The next most challenging group of resources includes gas hydrates ofmoderate-to-high concentrations that occur within quality sandstonereservoirs in the marine environment. Because these resources will bechallenged by the likely high costs of extraction from very deep water, themost favorable accumulations are those found in the Gulf of Mexico thatlie in the vicinity of oil and gas production infrastructure. The scale of thisresource is not well known, but is the subject of an ongoing assessment bythe U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS). Recent work by the MMShas revealed the occurrence of significant volumes of sandy sediments withinthe shallow section. In addition, the existence of high-quality reservoirsandstones with high gas hydrate saturation are known from the Gulf (seearticle on Alaminos Canyon 818 on page 12 of this issue of Fire in the Ice).Similar occurrences have also been reported by expeditions to the NankaiTrough offshore Japan and by the recent IODP Expedition 311 offshoreVancouver Island.On the pyramid, below the resources associated with sand and sandstonereservoirs, come massive deposits of gas hydrate, generally found encasedin fine-grained muds and shales. Most promising among this group of gashydrate occurrences are those with elevated gas hydrate saturations dueprimarily to extensive structural disturbance of the sediment. Such fracturedreservoir accumulations may be common in certain areas, with thick sectionsexhibiting massive vein fills, or high concentrations of small hydrate nodules,smaller vein fills, and massive layers parallel to bedding planes. However,unlike the sand/sandstone systems where grain-supported reservoirs resultin high matrix permeability and for which well-based production conceptsare more plausible, extraction of methane from these shale-encased fracturedaccumulations will be very problematic. Major technological advancementsbeyond current production systems will be needed.Example of disseminated gas hydrate (white) withinporous and permeable Arctic sandstone from the Malliksite, Northwest Canada (courtesy Mallik 2002 GasHydrate Project)6Example of disseminated gas hydrate (white specks) withinporous and permeable marine sandstone from the NankaiTrough, offshore Japan (from Fujii, et al, 2005 ICGH Proceedings)

A special class of gas hydrate occurrences are massive gas hydrate moundsthat lie exposed on the seafloor (or beneath a very thin layer of sediment)and extend to unknown depths. These features are possibly very dynamicand may be very common; however, the amount of gas resource representedis unknown. Recovery of methane from such features may be very difficultdue to both their potentially limited size and the likelihood for significantdisturbance of sensitive sea-floor ecosystems.At the very base of the gas hydrate resource pyramid are those finelydisseminated accumulations, typified by the Blake Ridge accumulationoffshore the Carolinas, in which large volumes of gas hydrate are relativelyevenly distributed through vast volumes of fine-grained and relativelyundeformed sediment at low ( 10% or less) saturations. Perhaps thebulk of the world’s global gas hydrate in-place resource (in the hundredsof thousands of Tcf gas-in-place) resides within this resource class.Unfortunately, the prospects for economic recovery of natural gas from thishighly disseminated resource are very poor with current technologies. Amajor paradigm shift will be necessary to enable commercial extraction fromsuch deposits.In accord with this view of the gas hydrate resource base, the InteragencyProgram’s effort to assess the future energy supply potential of gas hydratesrecognizes the investigation of sand and sandstone reservoirs as it’s highestpriority. This work will focus on utilizing the natural laboratory of theAlaska North Slope to address questions of production technologies, withthe near-term goal being the establishment of an extended production testfacility. In the marine environment, the program will target exploratorydrilling, the development of remote sensing systems, and the advancementof geologic models to better constrain the scale and nature of the marine gashydrate resource, both in sandstones (highest initial priority) and in denseaccumulations of massive forms associated with fracturing. The programwill continue to support the development of the science and technology thatwill enable the reliable appraisal of gas hydrate prospects of all types byproviding an improved understanding of the variety of natural geologicalsystems that produce such deposits.Example of nodular gas hydrate from zone of intenselydeformed fine-grained sediments (courtesy NGHPExpedition 01, India)Example of massive sea-floor mound from Offshore VancouverIsland (courtesy Ross Chapman, U.Victoria)7

Gas Hydrate Potential of theMid Atlantic Outer Continental ShelfWilliam W. Shedd (MMS, New Orleans, LA) and Deborah R. Hutchinson,(USGS,Woods Hole, MA)For the last two years, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) has beenstudying the resource potential of gas hydrates in federal offshore lands ofthe Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific,and Alaska in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS),the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration (NOAA), the Naval Research Lab (NRL) and academia.Utilizing its extensive seismic, well, and geochemical databases, the MMSwill be reporting the in-place resource numbers within the next few months.Though the methodology of the study was not prospect oriented, discreteprospects have been recognized.Gas hydrates off much of the Atlantic OCS have been identified by thepresence of a coherent and continuous bottom-simulating reflection (BSR).BSRs are interpreted as a seismic reflection event that marks the base of thehydrate stability zone (HSZ) where free gas beneath the HSZ forms a largeacoustic contrast with the presumably hydrate-saturated zone above. Thoughnot considered a tool to quantify hydrate saturations, most researchers feelthe existence of BSRs in seismic data indicate the presence of free gas and atleast some hydrate. The classic BSR recognized since the 1970’s at the BlakeRidge hydrate accumulation appears in USGS seismic data as a discretestrong, negative reflection (very similar to gas prone “bright spots”) withinthe anticlinal sea-floor morphology (Figure 1). When the Blake Ridge regionwas drilled in 1995 by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), gas hydrates atlow saturations were recovered in fine-grained mud deposits.Although gas hydrates have been known in the vicinity of the HudsonCanyon for many years, the MMS study is the first to attempt to quantifythe hydrate as a prospect. The BSR noted in the mid-Atlantic OCSoccurs in a sedimentary drift deposit similar to the Blake Ridge and isidentified by several discrete, bedding-parallel, high-amplitude negativereflections (suggestive of gas filled sands) that can be traced updip intolow-amplitude, positive, bedding-parallel reflections that terminate at anunconformity (Figure 2). Connecting these phase reversals allows the BSRto be recognized. What is significant about this prospect, called the Whaleprospect, is its size – approximately 12,000 km2 (3 million acres) in a regionthat is approximately 90 by 280 km (55 by 175 miles) long. Only one of theFigure 1: Example of a seismic profileacross the Blake Ridge region showing theprominent Bottom Simulating Reflection (BSR)crosscutting bedding horizons.8

five dip lines defining the prospect (Figure 3) extendspast the downdip edge of the prospect, so its truesize may be larger. More seismic data are needed forbetter definition of the composition and edges of theprospect. Additionally, the MMS assessment study ofreservoir sand potential from nearby well control andseismic stratigraphy indicates a high probability forglacially derived Pleistocene sands within the hydratestability zone in this prospect, as opposed to the muddominated system at the Blake Ridge. The presence ofsands may significantly increase the chances that theprospect contains high-saturation intervals of hydrate.Figure 2: Map of the mid-Atlantic OCSregion showing the regional extent of theWhale hydrate prospect.The area outlinedby the mapped BSR covers much of thecrest of the Hudson sediment drift deposit.BB’ shows the location of the seismicprofile shown in Figure 3. Bathymetryfor this map comes from recent highresolution multibeam bathymetric surveysconducted by the University of NewHampshire and NOAA. Contour intervalis in meters.The magnitude of this prospect was only recentlyrecognized for two reasons. First, these seismic datawere initially collected in the early 1970’s whencomputer processing was time-consuming and availableonly at specialized and (generally) expensive facilities.Consequently, the seaward end of the seismic line wherethe BSR is most obvious was not initially processedby the USGS. Second, the original interpretations were done on paper recordsthat were not easily redisplayed or rescaled to enhance certain reflections. Forthe current analysis, the MMS used all the original USGS lines reprocessed byFugroRobertson and loaded digitally on workstations. This approach enablesall the lines to be viewed simultaneously and manipulated on one screen.Though much more work needs to be done to quantify this resource, thesize of this prospect alone suggests a significant potential resource. The freegas potential below the BSR is significant, also, in that the strong negativeevents interpreted to be gas sands are 15-30 km wide by 65-95 km long (10to 20 miles by 40 to 60 miles). The engineering hurdles associated withthe production process, the lack of pipeline infrastructure, the water depth(greater than 3,000 m [10,000 feet] of water), and the political hurdlesassociated with the OCS drilling moratorium in this area all need to beresolved before this resource can be exploited.Figure 3: Seismic profile across the Whale hydrate prospect showing the mapped BSR together with a prominentunconformity and the base of the Pleistocene deposits. The hydrate stability zone above the BSR lies within Pleistoceneand modern sediments and is likely to contain sand-rich intervals where gas hydrate could be highly saturated.9

Possible Deep-Water Gas HydrateAccumulations in the Bering SeaGinger A. Barth, David W. Scholl and Jonathan R. Childs (USGS, Menlo Park, CA)Seismic reflection images from the deep-water Aleutian and Bowers Basinsof the Bering Sea contain many hundreds of acoustic Velocity-AMPlitude(VAMP) anomalies, each of which may represent a large accumulation ofnatural gas hydrate. Against a backdrop of essentially horizontal sedimentaryreflections, the VAMP anomalies stand out as both high-amplitude brightspots and zones of vertically aligned horizon distortions. The VAMPs areinterpreted as natural gas chimneys overlain by concentrated hydrate caps.The key to our interpretation of the VAMPs is the change in seismiccharacteristics that occurs at the predicted depth of the base of methanehydrate stability ( 360 m below the sea floor). Basin wide, a high amplitudereversed-polarity hydrate bottom simulating seismic reflection (BSR) istypically present at this level. Within the VAMPs, above the hydrate BSR,horizons appear arched upward, consistent with a velocity pull-up caused bythe higher acoustic velocity of interstitial hydrate. Below the BSR, horizonsoften brighten and appear down-warped, consistent with lowered acousticvelocities and enhanced impedance contrasts due to the presence of somefree gas in the pore spaces.VAMP anomalies are observed in both single- and multi-channel reflectionimages of every vintage. They were first noted in the 1960’s, and a gashydrate interpretation was forwarded in the 1970’s. Now thirty years later,with the advantages of today’s seismic analysis capabilities and a georeferenced Bering Sea seismic database, we are able to extract quantitativeBering Sea location map. Note that the Aleutian and BowersBasins lie at 3600-3900 m water depth. Star marks thelocation of the VAMP example shown at right. Circled starsrepresent nearest drilled wells, from DSDP leg 19. Tracklines represent 24,000 km of digitally recorded USGS singlechannel seismic coverage.A prominent VAMP anomaly in a single-channel seismic reflection image from thecentral Aleutian Basin. Pressure-temperature overlay predicts the base of methanehydrate stability, for comparison.10

details that were not previously accessible. Our database contains over30,000 km of single channel and short-streamer multi-channel seismicreflection data, most of which was collected by the USGS between 1975and 1982. The database was developed to address sediment thickness andbasement topography questions relevant to Law of the Sea (LOS), Article 76.With data and tools in place, our LOS analysis effort is also shedding newlight on the distribution and origin of gas hydrate in the Bering Sea.We are learning that the Bering Sea VAMPs are large features, typically 2 to8 km across within the hydrate stability zone, with approximate cylindricalsymmetry. They are wider than they look, with total widths roughly twicethat of their eye-catching central bright spots. Analyses of interval travel timevariations suggest that lithology controls the anomaly distribution withineach VAMP. Hydrate concentration estimated over 50 to 100 m intervalsreaches 40% of pore space in some intervals, assuming that all travel timevariation is due to hydrate presence.VAMP spatial distribution is strongly linked to basement topography withinthe basins. The larger VAMPs with the most well-formed hydrate-zone traveltime anomalies are associated with underlying basement highs. Sedimentthickness is 2 to 4 km throughout these basins, and folded or faultedstructure is generally absent. We hypothesize that basement topographyaffects differential compaction of the sediment and therefore controls thelong-lived locations of vertical egress for deep basin fluids. These pipelike fluid seepage zones appear to provide ongoing focused delivery ofthermogenic methane to the hydrate stability zone, creating the VAMPs.A typical large VAMP structure appears to store roughly 1 Tcf of hydratebound natural gas, comparable to a larger conventional gas field. Theconcentration of hydrate in these apparent subsurface bodies is an unusualmanifestation of hydrate accumulation, yet the structures are so numerous inthe Aleutian and Bowers Basins that they may representa combined volume significant in the global context.The Bering Sea VAMPs occur in a small oceanic basinsetting, at water depths 3600 m. This is also atypical,but is evidence that volumetrically significant gashydrate can be present beyond the continental margin.The Bering Sea VAMPs present intriguing possibilitiesin the areas of resource potential, global methanebudget, and habitats for deep sea life. Yet theinterpretations remain untested. A conclusive fieldstudy, or drilling program, has yet to be carried out.The authors welcome your comments, questions orpreprint requests: [email protected] anomaly interpretation. Sedimentary horizons aresketched as they appear in seismic images.We attribute thehorizon distortions largely to velocity variation, particularlywithin the hydrate stability zone. Gray shading representsthe most concentrated hydrate accumulations; gray stripedshade suggests lower volume fractions of hydrate.11

Alaminos Canyon Block 818: ADocumented Example of Gas HydrateSaturated Sand in the Gulf of MexicoStacey Smith (Chevron), Ray Boswell (U.S. DOE/NETL),Tim Collett (USGS), Myung Lee(USGS) and Emrys Jones (Chevron)Chevron USA has made available to the research community data thatprovide the first confirmation of the presence of a thick zone of gas-hydratesaturated sandstone in the Gulf of Mexico. The data also represents the firstknown full suite of geophysical well logs taken by the oil and gas industryacross the gas hydrate stability zone in the Gulf.The data was collected in 2004 in an exploration well located in roughly9,000 feet of water in Alaminos Canyon Block 818 (known as the “TigerShark” area). Chevron’s conventional hydrocarbon targets were PaleoceneWilcox sandstones, however, analysis of seismic data over the structurallybased prospect showed anomalous responses at the predicted depth of theregional oil and gas reservoir sandstones within the shallower Oligocene FrioFormation. Chevron determined that the Frio, which at this location is onlyslightly more than 1,500 feet beneath the seafloor due to a major erosionalunconformity, was most likely within the zone of ga

conducted drilling, logging, and coring operations. It then sailed around the southern tip of India to the port of Chennai. Leg 2 (May 17-June 6): after personnel and equipment transfers in Chennai, the ship sailed to ten sites in the Krishna-Godhavari (K-G) and Mahandi basins where it conducted logging-while-drilling (LWD)