Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.27, No.9, 2099-2106, 2019
Geomechanics involved in gas hydrate recovery
Gas hydrate is regarded as a promising energy owing to the large carbon reserve and high energy density. However, due to the particularity of the formation and the complexity of exploitation process, the commercial exploitation of gas hydrate has not been realized. This paper reviews the physical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments and focuses on the geomechanical response during the exploitation. The exploitation of gas hydrate is a strong thermal-hydrological-mechanical-chemical (THMC) coupling process: decomposition of hydrate into water and gas produces multi-physical processes including heat transfer, multi-fluid flow and deformation in the reservoir. These physical processes lead to a potential of geomechanical issues during the production process. Frequent occurrence of sand production is the major limitation of the commercial exploitation of gas hydrate. The potential landslide and subsidence will lead to the cessation of the production and even serious accidents. Preliminary researches have been conducted to investigate the geomechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments and to assess the wellbore integrity during the exploitation. The physical properties of hydrate have been fully studied, and some models have been established to describe the physical processes during the exploitation of gas hydrate. But the reproduction of actual conditions of hydrate reservoir in the laboratory is still a huge challenge, which will inevitably lead to a bias of experiment. In addition, because of the effect of microscopic mechanisms in porous media, the coupling mechanism of the existing models should be further investigated. Great efforts, however, are still required for a comprehensive understanding of this strong coupling process that is extremely different from the geomechanics involved in the conventional reservoirs. (C) 2019 The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, and Chemical Industry Press Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.