--> ABSTRACT: Deepwater Extension of Bacterial Methane Production, Northern Gulf of Mexico, by Bruce E. Wagner and Zvi Sofer; #91019 (1996)

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Deepwater Extension of Bacterial Methane Production, Northern Gulf of Mexico

Bruce E. Wagner and Zvi Sofer

Since 1980, it has been shown that microbially generated methane accounts for up to 80% of the gas resource and production from Plio-Pleistocene reservoirs in the offshore GOM shelf. These reservoirs and their source rocks were deposited in shelf-edge deltaic systems. This area of high sedimentation rate and relatively low geothermal gradient offers conditions favorable for generation and accumulation of bacterial gas.

Oceanographic work in the GOM has documented occurrences of bacterial methane both in deepwater sediments and associated with cold seeps. More recently deepwater exploration drilling has discovered slope environment reservoir sands charged with potentially significant volumes of bacterial methane. The depositional setting for these reservoirs is distinctly different from the better defined shelf trend. The increasingly recognized occurrence of bacterial methane in the deepwater depositional environment generates significant implications regarding basic issues such as product prediction, resource volume estimates and evolving production technology.

This presentation will briefly review the conditions favoring production of bacterial methane, discussing the formation of bacterial methane at both the shelf and in deepwater. Known trends in bacterial gas production from the GOM shelf will be reviewed. New data from recent deepwater exploration wells will be presented and the implications of bacterial gas production in the deepwater will be discussed.

AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California