The Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well was drilled within the Alaska North Slope (ANS) Milne Point Unit (MPU) from February 3 to 19, 2007. The well was conducted as part of a Cooperative Research Agreement (CRA) project co-sponsored since 2001 by BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. (BPXA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to help determine whether ANS gas hydrate can become a technically and commercially viable gas resource. Early in the effort, regional reservoir characterization and reservoir simulation modeling studies indicated that up to 0.34 trillion cubic meters (tcm; 12 trillion cubic feet, tcf) gas may be technically recoverable from 0.92 tcm (33 tcf) gas-in-place within the Eileen gas hydrate accumulation near industry infrastructure within ANS MPU, Prudhoe Bay Unit (PBU), and Kuparuk River Unit (KRU) areas. To further constrain these estimates and to enable the selection of a test site for further data acquisition, the USGS reprocessed and interpreted MPU 3D seismic data provided by BPXA to delineate 14 prospects containing significant highly-saturated gas hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs. The “Mount Elbert” site was selected to drill a stratigraphic test well to acquire a full suite of wireline log, core, and formation pressure test data.
Drilling results and data interpretation confirmed pre-drill predictions and thus increased confidence in both the prospect interpretation methods and in the wider ANS gas hydrate resource estimates. The interpreted data from the Mount Elbert well provide insight into and reduce uncertainty of key gas hydrate-bearing reservoir properties, enable further refinement and validation of the numerical simulation of the production potential of both MPU and broader ANS gas hydrate resources, and help determine viability of potential field sites for future extended term production testing. Drilling and data acquisition operations demonstrated that gas hydrate scientific research programs can be safely, effectively, and efficiently conducted within ANS infrastructure.
The results of the Mallik and Mount Elbert gas hydrate geologic and production studies have been reported in a 24 chapter special thematic volume of the Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology as further described below.
Boswell, R., Collett, T., Anderson, B., Hunter, R., eds., 2011. Scientific results of the BPXA-USDOE-USGS Mount Elbert gas hydrate stratigraphic test well, Alaska North Slope: Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology, Volume 28, Issue 2.
Hunter, R., Collett, T., Boswell, R., Anderson, B., Digert, S., Pospisil, G., Baker, R., Weeks, M., Mount Elbert-01 gas hydrate stratigraphic test well: scientific results and implications
Boswell, R., Rose, K., Collett, T., Lee, M., Lewis, C., Agena, W., Geologic controls on gas hydrate occurrence at the Mount Elbert prospect, Milne Point Unit, Alaska North Slope
Rose, K., Boswell, R., Collett, T., Mount Elbert well: a review of coring operations and fundamental lithostratigraphic evaluations
Kneafsey, T., Lu, H., Winters, W., Boswell, R., Hunter, R., Collett, T., Analysis of core samples from the BP-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well: Insights into core disturbance and handling
Winters, W., Walker, M., Hunter, R., Collett, T., Boswell, R., Rose, K., Waite, W., Torres, M., Patil, S., Dandekar, A., Physical properties of sediment from the BP-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well
Anderson, B., Hancock, S., Wilson, S., Collett, T., Boswell, R., Hunter, R., Modular Formation Dynamic testing of the Mount Elbert-01 Stratigraphic Test Well, Milne Point Unit, Alaska North Slope
Collett, T., Lee, M., Agena, W., Miller, J., Lewis, K., Zyrianova, M., Boswell, R., Inks, T., Permafrost-associated natural gas hydrate occurrences on the Alaska North Slope
Lorenson, T., Collett, T., Hunter, R., Gas geochemistry of the Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Test Well, Milne Pt. Alaska: Implications for gas hydrate exploration in the Arctic
Torres, M., Collett, T., Rose, K., Sample, J., Agena, W., Rosenbaum, E., Pore Fluid Geochemistry from the Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well, North Slope, Alaska
Colwell, R., Schwartz, A., Briggs, B., Microbial Community Distribution in Sediments from the BPXA-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well
Stern, L., Lorenson, T., Pinkston, J., Gas hydrate characterization and grain-scale imaging of recovered cores from the BPXA-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert gas hydrate stratigraphic test well, Milne Point, Alaska
Dai, S., Lee, C., Santamarina, C., Characteristics, Mechanical Properties and Geophysical Parameters of Sediments from the Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well, Alaska North Slope
Johnson, A., Patil, S., Dandekar, A., Experimental Investigation of Gas-Water Relative Permeability for Gas Hydrate Bearing Sediments from Mount Elbert
Lu, H., Lorenson, T., Moudrakovski, I., Ripmeester, J., Collett, T., Hunter, R., Ratcliffe, C., The characteristics of gas hydrates recovered from BPXA-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert gas hydrate stratigraphic test well, Alaska North Slope
Collett, T., Lewis, R., Winters, W., Lee, M., Rose, K., Boswell, R., Downhole well log and core montages from the Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well, Alaska North Slope
Sun, Y., Goldberg, D., Collett, T., Hunter, R., High-resolution well-log derived dielectric properties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments
Lee, M., Agena, W., Collett, T., Inks, T., Pre- and post-drill comparison of the Mount Elbert gas hydrate prospect at the Milne Point area, Alaska North Slope
Lee, M., Collett, T., In-situ gas hydrate saturations estimated from various well logs at the Mount Elbert well, Alaska North Slope
Moridis, G., Silpngarmlert, S., Reagan, M., Collett, T., Zhang, K., Gas production from a cold, stratigraphically bounded hydrate deposit at the Mount Elbert Site, North Slope Alaska
Wilson, S., Hunter, R., Collett, T., Hancock, S., Boswell, R., Anderson, B., Alaska North Slope regional gas hydrate production modeling forecasts
Pooladi-Darvish, M., Hong, H., Use of MDT Results over a Hydrate Interval at Mt. Elbert for Long Term Production Forecast – Implications of Uncertainties
White, M., Wurstner, S., McGrail, P., Numerical studies of methane production from Class 1 gas hydrate accumulations enhanced with carbon dioxide injection
Kurihara, M., Sato, A., Funatsu, K., Ouchi, H., Masuda, Y., Narita, H., Collett, T., Analysis of MDT test in Mount Elbert hydrate reservoir through numerical simulation
Anderson, B., Kurihara, M., White, M., Moridis, G., Wilson, J., Pooladi-Darvish, M., Gaddipati, M., Masuda, Y., Collett, T., Hunter, R., Narita, H., Rose, K., Boswell, R., Regional forward gas hydrate production modeling from a single well test
Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology Website