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Energies 2017, 10(4), 531; doi:10.3390/en10040531

Analysis of the Physical Properties of Hydrate Sediments Recovered from the Pearl River Mouth Basin in the South China Sea: Preliminary Investigation for Gas Hydrate Exploitation

1
Key Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
2
Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey, Guangzhou 510075, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard B. Coffin
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract

Laboratory based research on the physical properties of gas hydrate hosting sediment matrix was carried out on the non-pressurized hydrate-bearing sediment samples from the Chinese Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey 2 (GMGS2) drilling expedition in the Pearl River Mouth (PRM) basin. Measurements of index properties, surface characteristics, and thermal and mechanical properties were performed on ten sediment cores. The grains were very fine with a mean grain size ranging from 7 to 11 μm throughout all intervals, which provide guidance for the option of a screen system. Based on X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) and SEM images, bioclasts, which could promote hydrate formation, were not found in the PRM basin. However, the flaky clay might be conducive to hydrate formation in pore spaces. The measured sediment thermal conductivities are relatively low compared to those measured at other mines, ranging from 1.3 to 1.45 W/(m·K). This suggests that thermal stimulation may not be a good option for gas production from hydrate-bearing sediments in the PRM basin, and depressurization could exacerbate the problems of gas hydrate reformation and/or ice generation. Therefore, the heat transfer problem needs to be considered when exploiting the natural gas hydrate resource within these areas. In addition, the results of testing the mechanical property indicate the stability of hydrate-bearing sediments decreases with hydrate dissociation, suggesting that a holistic approach should be considered when establishing a drilling platform. Both the heat-transfer characteristic and mechanical property provide the foundation for the establishment of a safe and efficient production technology for utilizing the hydrate resource. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical properties; hydrate-bearing sediment; Pearl River Mouth basin; production technology physical properties; hydrate-bearing sediment; Pearl River Mouth basin; production technology
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Wang, B.; Huo, P.; Luo, T.; Fan, Z.; Liu, F.; Xiao, B.; Yang, M.; Zhao, J.; Song, Y. Analysis of the Physical Properties of Hydrate Sediments Recovered from the Pearl River Mouth Basin in the South China Sea: Preliminary Investigation for Gas Hydrate Exploitation. Energies 2017, 10, 531.

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