2019 09 13 Yi Fang (UT Institute for Geophysics)

Speaker: Yi Fang, Postdoctoral Fellow, UTIG Host: Peter Flemings Title: Permeability of a methane hydrate reservoir in the Gulf of Mexico Abstract: Methane hydrates, ice-like solids composed of methane and water, are stable in continental margin sediments. They are a large potential energy resource and play an important component of the carbon cycle and may impact climate change. To understand their role in these processes, we must understand how they form and how they might be produced. Many quantitative models have been developed to describe these processes. All of them critically depend on understanding of the flow properties of hydrate-bearing material, which are virtually unknown. I have spent two years studying these properties in the laboratory. We recovered pressurized cores from a sandy silt with ~90% hydrate saturation in deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM). We measured effective permeability in these samples and found permeabilities around ½ millidarcy (mD) at in-situ stress. We also reconstituted sandy silt sediments to predict its in-situ intrinsic permeability (11.8 mD) and to explore its relationship to porosity. Ultimately, our study will inform numerical models with permeability properties at scales of individual lithofacies.