Fracture-controlled gas hydrate systems in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Cook, Ann E.; Goldberg, David S.; Kleinberg, Robert L.

High-angle, open mode fractures control the presence of natural gas hydrate in water-saturated clays at the Keathley Canyon 151 site in the northern Gulf of Mexico, which was investigated for gas hydrates as part of the Chevron Joint Industry Project drilling in 2005. We analyze logging-while-drilling resistivity images and infer that gas hydrate accumulated in situ in two modes: filling fractures and saturating permeable beds. High-angle hydrate-filled fractures are the most common mode for gas hydrate occurrence at this site, with most of these fractures dipping at angles of more than 40° and occurring between 220 and 300 m below seafloor. These fractures all strike approximately N–S, which agrees with the 165°SE–345°NW maximum horizontal stress direction determined from borehole breakouts and which aligns with local bathymetric contours. In one interval of hydrate-filled fractures, porosity increases with increasing hydrate saturation. We suggest that high pore pressure may have dilated sediments during fracture formation, causing this increase in porosity. Furthermore, the formation of gas hydrate may have heaved fractures apart, also increasing the formation porosity in this interval.

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Also Published In

Marine and Petroleum Geology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
Published Here
October 5, 2011