Development of a numerical simulator for analyzing the geomechanical performance of hydrate-bearing sediments
In this pape., we describe the development and application of a numerical simulator that analyzes the geomechanical performance of hydrate-bearing sediment., which may become an important future energy supply. The simulator is developed by coupling a robust numerical simulator of coupled fluid flo., hydrate thermodynamic., and phase behavior in geologic media (TOUGH+HYDRATE) with an established geomechanical code (FLAC3D). We demonstrate the current simulator capabilities and applicability for two examples of geomechanical responses of hydrate bearing sediments during production-induced hydrate dissociation. In these application., the coupled geomechanical behavior within hydrate-bearing seducements are considered through a Mohr-Coulomb constitutive mode., corrected for changes in pore-filling hydrate and ice conten., based on laboratory data. The results demonstrate how depressurization-based gas production from oceanic hydrate deposits may lead to severe geomechanical problems unless care is taken in designing the production scheme. We conclude that the coupled simulator can be used to design production strategies for optimizing productio., while avoiding damaging geomechanical problems. 2008.ARM., American Rock Mechanics Association.