MODEC, Inc. has been participating in the underlying technology development related to the development of shallow methane hydrate harvesting technology conducted by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) commissioned by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, an agency under Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and is developing harvesting technology using extensive vertical drilling method with disk-shaped, large diameter drill bits.
MODEC is pleased to announce that following the drilling performance tests conducted in October last year using a simulated soft mud ground, the company has conducted drilling performance tests on land using a simulated large-sized ice ground with the same strength as shallow methane hydrate, and has confirmed that the drilling performance has reached a level that enables efficient harvest of methane hydrate even in 100% content of shallow methane hydrate ground.
In the previous test, MODEC used a simulated soft mud several tens of meters below the seabed with 20% content of shallow methane hydrate and the performance was confirmed to be sufficient to efficiently harvest granular methane hydrate in the soft mud.
With the continued cooperation of the Kitami Institute of Technology (KIT), the company installed four steel tanks with a diameter of about 3 m at the Okhotsk Regional Innovation Research Park in Kitami City, Hokkaido, and began to prepare for the test, this time by producing a large-sized ice in the drilling tanks about 1 m thick, simulating 100% content of shallow methane hydrate ground by naturally accumulating ice by layering and integrating commercial ice and water.
As the company confirmed that the ice in the tanks had solidified sufficiently on 31 January 2023, MODEC carried out drilling tests that took essentially six days through 13 February. The Wirth Reverse Circulation Drilling Rig provided by HMH, an industry-leading provider of drilling technologies and services, was used for the drilling tests. As a result of drilling four large-sized ice in the drilling tanks using three different types of drilling bits with different characteristics and changing parameters, it was confirmed that the drilling performance reached a level that allows efficient recovery even in 100% content of shallow methane hydrate ground, and succeeded in obtaining basic data necessary for estimating the drilling performance of actual drilling equipment, and for selecting actual drilling bits and equipment.
Based on the basic data obtained from the two drilling performance tests, the optimum combination of drill bits and equipment for various target areas for development of shallow methane hydrate in different conditions will be developed, and simulations of the required power and drilling capacity will be conducted to confirm the effectiveness and commercial profitability of this harvesting technology.
Read the article online at: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/drilling-and-production/27022023/modec-inc-develops-shallow-methane-hydrate-harvesting-technology/
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