Gas-charged sediments: Phenomena and characterization
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The mass of carbon trapped in methane hydrates exceeds that in conventional fossil fuel reservoirs. While methane in coarse-grained hydrate-bearing sediments is technically recoverable, most methane hydrates are found in fine-grained marine sediments where gas recovery is inherently impeded by very low gas permeability. Using experimental methods and analyses, this thesis advances the understanding of fine-grained sediments in view of gas production from methane hydrates. The research scope includes: a new approach for the classification of fines in terms of electrical sensitivity, the estimation of the sediment volume contraction during hydrate dissociation, a pore-scale study of gas migration in sediments and the self-regulation effect of surfactants, the formation of preferential gas migration pathways at interfaces during gas production, pressure core technology for the characterization of hydrate bearing sediments without causing hydrate dissociation, and the deployment of a bio-sub-sampling chamber in Japan.