Goals and Research Themes for Research Group for Field Development Technology

Goals

In order to enable commercial production of methane gas from methane hydrate-bearing layers which are non-conventional type of resources, it is essential to conduct field production tests to verify the production method, assess the dissociation behavior of the methane hydrate-bearing layers, evaluate the development technology, and so on. As Japan’s methane hydrate-bearing layers lie in the deep-water shallow formation layers off the coast of Japan, MH21 also needs to promote technological development for coping with the situation. Recognizing the significance as described above, MH21 will conduct the following research and development activities related to field development technology so that MH21 will enable to isolate technical issues to be addressed for commercialization and to verify the production technology through implementation of production tests.

  • Implementation of offshore production tests
  • Characterization of methane hydrate resource field
  • Investigation of the offshore development system
  • Analysis of the second onshore gas hydrate production test and implementation of long-term tests

Contents of the research and development

  • Implementation of offshore production tests

Two offshore production tests are scheduled in FY 2012 and FY 2014 in order to gain an understanding of the dissociation behaviors of methane hydrate-bearing layers, verify the development technology, acquire basic data for examining economic potential, and so on.

Offshore production tests will be conducted for several days or up to several weeks using offshore drilling rigs and existing production facilities/equipment. For these tests, MH21 will develop and implement a test plan that enables it to acquire quantitative data related to the soundness of the sediment layers and wells as well as dissociation behaviors of methane hydrate so that the test results will maintain the productivity and production of offshore wells and evaluate technologies for retaining the well integrity and economic potential. After the tests, analysis associated with the goals will be performed on the results and evaluation will be conducted on the reservoir layers in the area.

In order to facilitate planning the tests, necessary studies will be conducted including a preliminary investigation of the offshore environment, evaluation of the reservoir characteristics, prediction of methane gas production behaviors, investigation and designing of systems and facilities for enabling the well integrity to be maintained while maintaining productivity, selection of the optimal well completion method, dissociation monitoring technology studies, and so on whose research outputs will be applied to the offshore production tests.

Furthermore, along with the implementation of offshore production tests, adequate considerations will be given to possible impact of the production tests on environment in order to reduce environmental impact. At the same time, an environmental impact assessment will be conducted based on information obtained from the subject offshore areas and required for the environmental impact assessment. For that purpose, an investigation will be conducted on offshore environment that is required for analysis of environmental risks and examination of countermeasures. As part of the environmental impact assessment related to the production tests, existing data regarding the subject offshore area will be evaluated for assessing risks of methane gas leakage, landslides at seafloor, etc., the results of which will be reflected on selection of testing locations. Additionally, an investigation and measurement will be conducted regarding the seafloor environment and the ecological system in the vicinity of the testing locations before, during and after the tests.

Major activities

  • Implementation of technological development
    • Development and evaluation of technologies for maintaining productivity and production of offshore wells, and for retaining well integrity
      • Research concerning zonal isolation such as shallow-layer cementing
      • Research concerning measures against sanding and reservoir damage
      • Research concerning downhole tools and flow assurance
    • Research concerning geophysical exploration technology related to production and development
    • Other technological development activities required for implementation of the tests
  • Formulation of implementation plan
  • Implementation of offshore production tests
  • Analysis of the test result and identification of issues to be addressed
  • Evaluation of reservoir at the test target area
  • Environmental impact assessment at the testing location

Characterization of methane hydrate resource field

Detailed characterization on methane hydrate-bearing layers is an important research theme that will be the base for the creation of a development system aimed at commercial production and will affect the evaluation of long-term production behaviors and evaluation of economic potential with a higher reliability. Therefore, in Phase 2, MH21 will comprehensively analize data obtained from offshore production tests together with the seismic data, the modeling data, etc. to develop a detailed reservoir model for the area surrounding the well for production tests, evaluate the characteristics of the methane hydrate resource field, and evaluate the production capacity.

Major activities

  • Implementation of detailed geological modeling and reservoir characterization at test location
  • Reservoir assessment in the resource field

Investigation of the offshore development system

In Phase 2, MH21 will conduct conceptual design development for an offshore development system in accordance with the technologies validated in the offshore production tests, the resource field characteristics and the predicted production characteristics. Also, a technical study will be carried out regarding the measures for reducing costs and risks in relation to drilling, well stabilization, production, well completion, and so on, in order to acquire an outcome useful for the realization of the offshore development system to be accomplished in Phase 3.

Major activities

  • Conceptual design of the offshore development system
  • Technical study on drilling, well stabilization, production, well completion, etc.

Analysis of the second onshore gas hydrate production test and implementation of long-term tests

MH21 will conduct detailed analysis and evaluation of the results of onshore gas hydrate production tests conducted in Phase 1 and compile information required for offshore production tests. In the second onshore gas hydrate production test, MH21 could not conduct a long-term test, one of the initial objectives, as the test period was limited to about six days. Toward the establishment of the production method, it is necessary to verify that the depressurization method enables to provide long-term and stable production. For that purpose, MH21 will work on long-term onshore gas hydrate production tests through cooperation with the METI and in the form of an international joint project. By conducting long-term onshore gas hydrate production tests, MH21 will grasp long-term production behaviors and isolate problems, aiming to obtain data that help establish the methane hydrate production method suited for areas off the coast of Japan.

Major activities

  • Analysis of the second onshore gas hydrate production test results
  • Implementation of long-term onshore gas hydrate production tests (international cooperation)

Goals of Phase 2

Goal (FY 2011) Goal (FY 2015)
Research and Development concerning Field Development Technology
1.Implementation of offshore production tests
Implementation of technological development
Since this is considered as the first offshore gas hydrate production test in the world, the safety during the test period must be ensured and the methane gas production behavior must be defined as well. For this reason, plan the production test using conventional technologies, at the same time, identify the issues which require technological developments including the offshore well productivity, the well stabilization technologies, the geophysical exploration technology related to production and development and so on, present solutions to the issues and proceed such technological developments. For particularly important issues, complete the preparation through verification by laboratory or field experiments. Specifically, implement the following items.
– Conduct research regarding the zonal isolation such as shallow cementing. Study the well completion technology which ensures depressurization, and apply it to the test well.
– Study the completion technology that satisfies both of the sand control and reservoir damage prevention, and apply it to the test well.
– Develop and select the downhole tools to be applied to the depressurization method at the seafloor. Conduct research to ensure flow assurance such as prevention of the methane hydrate regeneration, and enable the stable production.
– Conduct research on the geophysical exploration technology on production and development, and enable the methane hydrate dissociation monitoring.
Based on the results of the two offshore production tests, identify the technical issues toward commercial production.
Formulation of implementation plan
Formulate the basic policy for the first and second offshore production tests. Plan the first test to obtain the data which will enable to evaluate the offshore well productivity and well stabilization technology. Formulate the concrete test program to be implemented in FY 2012. Select the equipment used in the bottom-hole, seafloor and surface, select and design devices, and be ready for procuring them. Plan the second offshore production test based on the result of the first offshore production test. Formulate the concrete test program to be implemented in FY 2014. Select the equipment used in the bottom-hole, seafloor and surface, select and design devices, and be ready for procuring them.
Implementation of offshore production tests
To implement offshore production tests, select the operator and drilling rig, and be ready for the test. Implement two offshore production tests safely, and obtain the necessary data. More precisely, indicate that stable gas production is available for a certain period of time and obtain the data including gas and water production amount, temperature and pressure which is required to evaluate the production behavior, the data necessary to understand the change of sediment before and after the test and fluid flow inside the well, etc.
Analysis of the test result and identification of issues
Based on the analyzing process of the second onshore gas hydrate production test implemented in Canada in Phase 1, prepare the flowchart for analyzing the test result. Complete the basic analysis of the offshore production test through the management and processing of the obtained data, comparison with the dissociation monitoring result and verification with the simulator. In addition, understand the gas and water flow condition inside the well, and evaluate the reservoir with reference to the production method.
Evaluation of reservoir at the test target area
Based on the existing seismic data, well log data, core analysis result, etc., construct a reservoir model of the test location, estimate the gas and water flow rate using the production simulator, and identify the production risks. Using the well log data and others obtained through the offshore gas hydrate production test, verify the reservoir parameters around the well again.
Environmental impact assessment at the test location
Prior to the offshore gas hydrate production test, investigate the offshore environment and ecological system as the preliminary environmental impact assessment, and identify and analyze the environmental risk and property. Also, access the risks of landslide and methane gas leakage, and incorporate the result to determine the test point. Further, based on the risk assessment, formulate the environmental measures and the environmental monitoring plan in the test. During and after offshore gas hydrate production tests, investigate the offshore environment and ecological system, analyze the results, determine the actual environmental impact, and conduct environmental impact assessment.
Goal (FY 2011) Goal (FY 2015)
2. Characterization of methane hydrate resource field
Implementation of detailed geological modeling and reservoir characterization at test point
Based on the seismic data, well log data, core data, etc. formulate the reservoir model in the vicinity of the well which is required to predict the reservoir behavior of the first offshore production test. Update the reservoir model based on the new data of reservoir parameters obtained in the offshore production tests, production data of two offshore production tests, and the results analyzed by the simulator.
Reservoir evaluation in the resource field
Apply the reservoir model at the test point, which was updated in offshore production tests, to the concentrated zone and the entire resource field utilizing the reflection seismic data, and so on.
Goal (FY 2011) Goal (FY 2015)
3. Investigation of offshore development system
Conceptual design of offshore development system
Identify the issues on the offshore development system which were studied in Phase 1, assess the validity and feasibility, and progress the study on the development potential. Also, examine the up-to-date technologies related to oil and natural gas development, and incorporate the result in the study of the offshore development system. Based on the results of offshore gas hydrate production tests, review the offshore development system, and complete the realistic conceptual design suitable for the resource fields.
Technical study on drilling, well stabilization, production, and well completion
Apply the results of the technical study on offshore gas hydrate production tests to the study on the offshore development system. In addition, identify the technical issues related to reducing development risk and cost, and gather the most recent findings. Based on the results of offshore gas hydrate production tests, move the technical evaluation forward, and study the method to optimize each kind of technologies.
Goal (FY 2011) Goal (FY 2015)
4. Analysis of onshore gas hydrate production tests and implementation of long-term tests
Analysis of the second onshore gas hydrate production test results
Complete the comprehensive study on the result of the second onshore gas hydrate production test that was implemented in Phase 1 in Canada. Summarize the result to contribute to the development of hydrate off the coast of Japan, and publish the result if necessary.
Implementation of long-term onshore gas hydrate production tests (international cooperation)
Through international cooperation, identify the site where a long-term onshore gas hydrate production test may be conducted by the depressurization method, and aim to obtain its long-term production behavior data. Analyze the result of the long-term production test, and incorporate the data to the production simulator and reservoir model in order to evaluate the long-term offshore production behavior.

コメントは停止中です。