Mallik 2002 Gas Hydrate Production Research Project
Principal Investigator: Dallimore, Scott R (17)
Licence Number: 13273
Organization: Geological Survey of Canada - Pacific
Licenced Year(s): 2008 2007 2002 1998
Issued: Dec 13, 2001
Project Team: T. Collett (USA), M. Weber (Germany) and T. Uchida (Japan)

Objective(s): International interest in science and engineering research on natural gas hydrates is at an all-time high. Natural gas hydrates represent an immense hydrocarbon resource underlying large portions of the world's arctic continental areas and continental shelves. While these deposits ultimately may yield important sources of energy for the world, scientific and engineering research needs to be undertaken to make their production feasible. In addition to these very practical interests, there is mounting scientific evidence that natural gas hydrates have had a very significant role in enhancing the pace of global climate change through the release of methane, a greenhouse gas some 21 times more active than carbon dioxide. In the above context, the Principal Investigators have formed an international consortium that will establish a world research site for the study of continental natural gas hydrates in the Mackenzie Delta of the northwestern Canadian Arctic. This site, the Mallik gas hydrate field, was discovered through an exploration well drilled by Imperial Oil Ltd. in 1971-1972. In 1998, several of the host organizations of the proponents of this proposal collaborated to complete a 1150-m deep scientific research well at the site. The first terrestrial gas hydrate core samples in the world were collected and extensive scientific data were retained. The current proposal includes a 1200-m production research well and two nearby 1200-m science observation wells, all to be drilled in 2002. Full-scale field experiments will be conducted to monitor the physical behavior and kinetic response of gas hydrate deposits to depressurization and thermal/chemical stimulation. A wide-ranging science and engineering research program is proposed, with extensive geophysics research, core studies and long term monitoring of in-situ conditions. The scientific and engineering research objectives for the production research well focus on the assessment of (1) the geologic, geophysical, geochemical and geomechanical properties of gas hydrates, (2) the kinetic response of gas hydrates to temperature, pressure and chemical forcing (production testing), and (3) the stability of continental gas hydrates to climate change.

Project Description: Field activities for this project will be covered under various permits being applied for the engineering operations. The Mallik site will be accessed by ice roads from Inuvik. The Mallik wells will be drilled by the Akita 15 rig (local northern company). We expect up to 60 scientists (and 40 operations staff) to be on site at the height of the program. Scientists will be housed in facilities of the Inuvik Research Centre and in hotels in Inuvik, as well as at the drilling rig camp on site. Operations staff will be housed at the rig, and in hotels in Inuvik. The well drilling will extend from about Dec. 15, 2001 until rig release early in March, 2002. The main scientific program will be coring and laboratory measurements in Inuvik, approximately Jan. 21, 2002 to Feb. 18, 2002. The science program at the rig will extend until about Feb. 23, 2002. Scientific studies being conducted as part of this research will be mainly laboratory oriented to research on the geology, geochemistry, permafrost and gas hydrate properties of drill cores, interpretation of geophysical data and other fundamental research. The Geological Survey of Canada will supervise this research and disseminate results through various media including a CD-ROM, scientific articles and GSC Maps and other publications.