|Alaska North Slope Gas Hydrate Reservoir Characterization||Last Reviewed 12/15/2012|
The goal of this project is to characterize the large in-place methane hydrate resource on the Alaska North Slope (ANS) and to conduct field and lab studies to determine the potential for methane, produced from hydrate, to become a viable part of the overall energy supply.
Assessments produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have estimated that 85 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas resources exist within gas hydrates in northern Alaska. Past USGS assessments indicated 40 tcf of the resource may exist within hydrate deposits below existing oil and gas production facilities. In 2001, BP Exploration Alaska Inc. proposed a state-of-the-art 3-D seismic survey over its Milne Point production unit to provide a starting point for a full evaluation of the feasibility of commercial production from Arctic hydrates.
Efforts under this project have been broken into several operational phases. Phase 1 focused on the evaluation and development of lab, modeling, and field techniques and technologies required for assessment of ANS hydrates and for conducting field-based operations planned in later project phases. Phase 2 focused on actual assessment of ANS hydrate resources and the operational planning for future field testing. These initial phases implemented fully integrated, detailed geophysical interpretation and modeling; regional geologic characterization of prospective hydrate-bearing units; and advanced reservoir and economic modeling to select a location for drilling, coring, and potential production testing. Phase 3 concentrates on activities necessary to achieve a long-term, depressurization-based, field test of methane production from an ANS hydrate reservoir. To date (Phase 3A), this has included the drilling, logging and coring of a stratigraphic hydrate test well in the Milne Point Unit as a mechanism to verify reservoir characterizations and to test techniques and technologies necessary to prepare for a long-term production test in Phase 3B.
This project will be a critical first step in determining the commercial viability of methane production from arctic hydrate deposits. The project will greatly advance the tools and techniques used to delineate specific hydrate prospects and to model the potential productivity and commercial viability of those prospects. The project could also (assuming continuation through all project phases) provide the first extended production testing of a U.S. gas hydrate reservoir and yield insight into the relative merit of various contemplated production and stimulation methods for gas hydrate.
Field Testing (Phase 3)
Assessment and Planning (Phases 1 and 2)
Current Status (December 2012)
Efforts under Phases 1 ? 3A have been completed and the project is currently in a holding pattern awaiting potential opportunities to either gather additional hydrate resource characterization data for the ANS or move into a final production testing phase (Phase 3B). Potential opportunity to move into a long-term hydrate production test phase under this project is complicated by many factors; the project team continues to investigate options to enable such a test. DOE and BP also continue to look for potential opportunities to gather additional hydrate-relevant characterization data from ANS wells of opportunity.
Project Start: September 30, 2001
Project End: March 31, 2014
Project Cost Information:
Phase 1: DOE Contribution: $ 2,611,828, Recipient Contribution: $5,396,234
Phase 2: DOE Contribution: $ 870,485, Recipient Contribution: $100,775
Phase 3A: DOE Contribution: $6,337,103, Recipient Contribution: $316,628
Planned Phase 3B: DOE Contribution: $10,415,920, Recipient Contribution: $220,711
Planned Total Funding (if project continues through all project phases):
DOE Contribution: $20,235,336 ($9,819,416 to date), Recipient Contribution: $6,034,348
NETL - Richard Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NETL - Ray Boswell Hydrate Program Technology Manager (email@example.com)
BP Exploration Alaska - Scott Digert (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are unable to reach the above personnel, please contact the content manager.
In addition to the information provided here, a full listing of project related publications and presentations as well as a listing of funded students can be found in the Methane Hydrate Program Bibliography [PDF].
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-1.71MB] - October 2012 - March 2013
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-3.14MB] - October 2011 - March 2012
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-3.14MB] - April - September 2011
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-3.14MB] - April - September 2010
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-3.77MB] - October 2009 - March 2010
BPXA Status Meeting Presentation - Hunter [PDF-6.01MB] - January 2009
BPXA Status Meeting Presentation - Hancock [PDF-669KB] - January, 2009
BPXA Status Meeting Presentation - Wilson [PDF-5.40MB] - January, 2009
2008 ICGH Paper - Investigation of Gas Hydrate-Bearing Sandstone Reservoirs at the "Mount Elbert" Stratigraphic Test Well, Milne Point, Alaska [PDF]
2008 ICGH Paper - Analyses of Production Tests and MDT Tests Conducted in Mallik and Alaska Methane Hydrate Reservoirs: What Can We Learn from These Well Tests? [PDF]
2008 ICGH Paper - Preliminary Assessment of Hydrocarbon Gas Sources from the Mt. Elbert No. 1 Gas Hydrate Test Well, Milne Pt. Alaska [PDF]
2008 ICGH Paper - An International Effort to Compare Gas Hydrate Reservoir Simulators [PDF]
2008 ICGH Paper - Analysis of Modular Dynamic Formation Test Results from the Mount Elbert-01 Stratigraphic Test Well, Milne Point Unit, North Slope Alaska [PDF]
Alaska Gas Hydrate Research and Stratigraphic Test Preliminary Results [PDF-1.84MB] - Robert B. Hunter, Scott A. Digert, Ray Boswell, and Timothy S. Collett - March, 2008
A listing of the available well log data from BP-DOE-US "Mount Elbert" test - Digital well log data acquired at the February 2007 gas hydrates test well at Milne Point, Alaska are now available. Data include Gamma ray, neutron porosity, density porosity, three-dimensional high resolution resistivity, acoustics including compressional- and shear-wave data, and nuclear magnetic resonance.
ANS Stratigraphic Test Well - February, 2007
BP Drills Alaska North Slope Gas Hydrate Test Well to Assess Potential Energy Resource [external site] February 20, 2007 BP Press Release
Topical Report - June 2005: Drilling and Data Acquisition and Planning [PDF-8092KB]
Technical Report - October 2003: Natural Gas Hydrate Characterization - Prudhoe Bay [PDF-4906KB]
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-3.56MB] - April, 2009 - September 2009
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-14.6MB] - October, 2008 - March 2009
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-1.25MB] - March, 2008 - September, 2008
Semi-Annual Report [PDF-11.9MB] - October, 2007 - March, 2008
Technical Report - September 2007: Twentieth Quarterly Report [PDF-16.02MB] - July - September, 2007
Technical Report - June 2007: Nineteenth Quarterly Report [PDF-3.23MB] - April - June, 2007
Technical Report - March 2007: Eighteenth Quarterly Report [PDF-33.98MB] - January - March, 2007
Technical Report - December 2006: Seventeenth Quarterly Report [PDF-10.5MB]
Technical Report - September 2006: Sixteenth Quarterly Report [PDF-1.04MB]
Technical Report - June 2006: Fifteenth Quarterly Report (Ten-Fourteen Waived) Inclusive of January 2005 - June 2006 [PDF-7.3MB]
Technical Report - July 2005: Eighth and Ninth Quarterly Report [PDF-7524KB]
Poster - Use of Seismic Attributes and Modeling [PDF-3705KB] - North Slope, Alaska