ABSTRACT

The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Joint Industry Project Leg 2 logging-while-drilling data in Walker Ridge lease block 313 (WR313) in the GOM detected gas hydrate in coarse- and fine-grained sediments at sites WR313-G and WR313-H. The coarse-grained units are thin (<10  m) and highly saturated, whereas the fine-grained unit is thick (approximately 200 m) with low saturation and fracture-filling gas hydrate. Unlike its coarse-grained counterpart, the seismic character of the fine-grained unit does not clearly indicate the presence of gas hydrate, which would likely have remained undiscovered in the absence of drilling. In this paper, through frequency-domain acoustic full-waveform inversion (FWI) of ocean-bottom seismometer data along a 2D multichannel seismic transect near sites WR313-G and WR313-H, we detect and quantify gas hydrate in the fine-grained unit. Key results are as follows: First, the base of the gas hydrate stability zone, which is not obvious in the reflection profile, can be discerned in the FWI results. Second, the gas hydrate in the fine-grained unit is mainly confined to the area between two sets of opposite-dipping normal faults implying that the fault architecture may be partially responsible for this gas hydrate accumulation and distribution.

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