A hydrate reservoir renovation device and its application in nitrogen bubble fracturing

Jingsheng Lu, Yuanxin Yao, Dongliang Li*, Jinhai Yang, Deqing Liang, Yiqun Zhang, Decai Lin, Kunlin Ma

*Corresponding author for this work

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Natural gas hydrate (GH) is a significant potential energy source due to its large reserves, wide distribution, high energy density, and low pollution. However, the gas production rate of past gas hydrate production tests is much lower than the requirement of commercial gas production. Reservoir stimulation technologies like hydraulic fractures provide one potential approach to enhance gas production from GH. The reservoir reformation behavior of the hydrate-bearing sediments (HBSs), particularly sediments with a high clay content, is a complex process during a hydraulic fracturing operation which has been poorly understood and thus hardly predictable. This paper presents an experimental facility that was developed to analyze the hydraulic fracture mechanism in synthesized HBSs. This facility can be used to form GH in sediments, conduct visual observation of hydraulic fracturing experiments, and measure the permeability of HBSs under high-pressure (up to 30gMPa) and low-Temperature conditions (from 253.15 to 323.15gK). It is mainly composed of a pressure control and injection unit, a low temperature and cooling unit, a cavitation unit, a visual sapphire reactor, and a data acquisition and measurement unit. The hydraulic fracture module consists of a gas cylinder, fracturing pump, hopper, proppant warehouse, and valves. The sapphire reservoir chamber is applied to observe and measure the fracture of HBSs during hydraulic fracturing. The permeability test module is composed of a constant-flux pump and pressure sensors, which can evaluate the permeability performance before and after the hydraulic fracture in HBSs. The fundamental principles of this apparatus are discussed. Some tests were performed to verify hydraulic fracture tests, and permeability tests could be practically applied in the HBS exploitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalGeoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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