Dynamic in-situ imaging of methane hydrate formation and self-preservation in porous media

Viktor V. Nikitin, Geser A. Dugarov, Anton A. Duchkov, Mikhail I. Fokin, Arkady N. Drobchik, Pavel D. Shevchenko, Francesco De Carlo, Rajmund Mokso

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results of dynamic in-situ 3D X-ray imaging of methane hydrates microstructure during methane hydrate formation and dissociation in sand samples. Short scanning times and high resolution provided by synchrotron X-rays allowed for better understanding of water movement and different types of gas-hydrate formation. Complementing previous observations, we conclude that the process of gas-hydrate formation is accompanied by the water movements caused by cryogenic water suction that happens in sequences of short fast movements with longer equilibrium states in between (when the water is immobile). Based on the 3D microstructure we identified two distinct types of gas-hydrate formation: (i) into the gas pockets and (ii) inside water volumes. For both mechanisms we do not see problems in gas or water supply to support the gas-hydrate formation. The rate of dissociation in the self-preservation mode (pressure drop at negative temperatures) appears to be different for these two types of gas hydrates. This means that the history of the gas-hydrate formation may influence its behaviour at the dissociation stage (e.g. gas-hydrate production).

Original languageEnglish
Article number104234
Number of pages10
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Dissociation
  • Formation
  • Methane gas hydrates
  • Phase-contrast tomography
  • X-ray synchrotron tomography
  • GAS
  • PURE

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