Messoyakha Gas Field

The first commercial hydrate deposits?

This page is written by M. Tanahashi referring mainly Makogon (1995) and Krason and Finley (1992). See the References and the record of visit.

What is Messoyakha, why it is important?

Messoyakha is the gas field in the permafrost region of Western Siberia, Russia. Part of the gas reservoir of the gas field is believed to be in the gas hydrate stability zone. Messoyakha is studied extensively and interpreted that the part of the produced gas of the field was come from the hydrate layer by the decreasing of gas pressure and dissociation of the hydrate by Makogon (1971). If the interpretation is correct, the Messoyakha Gas Field is the first commercial gas field producing gas from the hydrate in the world.

Where is Messoyakha?

Messoyakha Gas Field is located on the eastern margin of the world largest West Siberian sedimentary basin (Fig. 1). The basin bounded by the Siberian Platform in the east. There is a big nickel mine on the western rim of the platform. The gas of Messoyakha and some other fields in the neighbor is supplied to the Norilsk, 250 km away from the Messoyakha, which was developed for the mine.

Fig. 1
Index map of the Messoyakha Gas Field (after Krason and Finley, 1992). The products from Messoyakha is supplied to Norilsk through a pair of pipelines. The gas from super giant gas fields in the western part, such as Urengoy and Yamburg, is supplied to the west.

Production history

The production of the Messoyakha Gas Field began in 1970 and finished in 1978. The production resumed in 1980 and continue until now (Sept., 1995, Visit to Messoyakha) intermittently. In recent, the production of the Messoyakha is only in the summer season to adjust the production to the consumption. The formation gas pressure decrease during the production in general (curve, H-I-K on the Fig. 2). But the pressure was maintained higher than the estimation at the Messoyakha field (H-I-N-O, Fig. 2). The descrepancy between the estimated and measured gas pressures was interpreted as the gas hydrate dessociation contribution (enclosed area by B-C-D in blue, Fig. 2).

Fig. 2
Production history of the Messoyakha Gas Field. Pressure and production rate of the gas as a function of time (by Makogon, 1995). Estimated pressure without hydrate gas contribution is H-I-K-L-M, messured pressure at Messoyakha field is H-I-N-O-P-Q. Gas production rate is A-B-D-E-F-G. If the interpretation of the hydrate contribution to the pressure is true, the gas corresponds to the regions B-C-D and E-F-G is interpreted as the dessociated gas from the hydrate.

How is the underground condition?

Thermal structure was estimated from the well temperature data. Overlaying the geothermal gradient and methane gas hydrate stability curve suggests the hydrate and free-gas contact exist in -700 to -800 m in Messoyakha field. If the enough methane and water exist this portion in the porous reservoir such as the sandstone layer, the hydrate and gas bearing layers developped as this conceptual model by Makogon (1995). Makogon interprete the production history of the Messoyakha field by the dessociation of methane hydrate and supply to the free-gas zone by the decreasing gas formation pressure caused by the progress of the production.

Thermocrosssection of Messoyakha field. (modified from Makogon, 1995).
Geothermal gradient of the field and methane hydrate stablity curves are overlapped on the cross section. When the enough methane and water exist in the permeable layer as shown on the figure, the gas from the hydrate may be extracted by the decreasing pressure.

No more problem?

The recovery of the formation gas pressure is sometimes observed in the field whose reservoir permeability is low. The hydrate formation in the reservoir probably cause the permeability drop. Then, isn't the pressure descrepancy caused by the slow migration from the reservoir to the production well? Probably, we must say, there is no crucial data on the "commercial gas production from the natural gas hydrate" from Messoyakha Gas Field. It is not easy to solve the problem, because there is no more exploration activity in this area and the production of the Messoyakha Gas Field is the last stage now. Dr. Ginsburg, Okeangeologia, is studying the production gas of the Messoyakha field and trying to clarify the problem (Ginsburg, 1993).


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This page is designed by M. Tanahashi
Last modified on 1996/04/18.