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Review of Mallik 2002 Gas Hydrate Research Well Program

A short review on Mallik 2002 Gas Hydrate Research Well Program :

(The video footage be seen here)
Mallik 2002 drilling was the first fruitful pilot project of gas hydrate research well program. This immense work involved different wide range partnerships from America, Japan, India, Germany, and Canada. The field itself was situated at Canada’s Mackenzie delta with the target was 113m thick of methane hydrate layer, concealed beneath a massive permafrost layer with depth around 890m – 1108m. Various intentions were bestowed under the project, including core sample recovery, borehole logging data, and methane hydrate formation characteristic analysis. But the leading goal was to acquire acquisition data related to production test.

The natural condition of the field was one of the biggest challenges prior to the beginning of project. Other than winter season, the area would become wetland. In consequence, the land roads are not accessible during the time. Thus, the program was scheduled to run within four months (December 2001 – March 2002) only. During this terse of time, there were 3 drilling wells involved in the project. Two drilling wells (3L-48 and 4L-48) were treated as observation wells with their objectives to monitor methane hydrate concentrated layer during production test. The production test well (5L-48) was located in between both wells (5L-48). The scientists installed several monitoring sensors in the observation wells, such as fiber optic temperature distribution measurement system (DTS) and elastic wave tomography sensor. Production well was drilled with depth target around 885m – 1151m. This is also the depth where a 170m-long core sample was retrieved. It was confirmed that the core sample seized methane saturation up to more than 60%.

The production test was executed in two ways: depressurization and heating. The depressurization method targeted low hydrate layer using Modular Formation Dynamic Test (MDT). It was confirmed that such method was feasible to perturb and dissociate methane hydrate stability zone. The heating method utilized high temperature (90o C) water to agitate the methane hydrate layer. Once the layer got warm, the gas would be dissociated and transported to the surface together with the injected water. The gas would be later separated from water using separator machine compartment and the water would be injected again to subsurface. This method was considered to be the most pertinent method for gas hydrate production test, period.  Nevertheless, Malik 2002 drilling program was considered a break-through technology in understanding the gas hydrate system in permafrost area. This successful program would lead towards more optimistic gas hydrate exploration project in near future.
Gosh, writing a 'scientific-attempt' review is sure not easy. But at least I've tried lol.

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