Gas hydrate deposits were confirmed in the Shenhu Area, the north slope of South China Sea during a drilling expedition in 2007. Hydrate deposits in the area are distributed in disseminated forms in forams-rich clay sediments with permeable overburden and underburden layers. Production of gas from such a type of hydrate deposits is very challenging. In this study, we develop a numerical approach for investigation of gas production strategies by horizontal wells and preliminary estimation of the production potential based on the limited data that are currently available. Numerical models are built to represent the typical hydrate deposits in the area, including the thickness of the Hydrate-Bearing Layer (HBL), hydrate saturation, water depth, temperature at the sea floor, initial thermal gradient and pressure distribution. The models are used to simulate the different production schemes and well designs. In this paper, production strategies of horizontal well system with combination of depressurization and thermal stimulation are investigated through numerical models. Gas production potential from the deposits and effectiveness of the different production methods are evaluated. The simulation results indicate that with current technology, gas production from Shenhu hydrate deposits may not be economically efficient for all the production strategies we have investigated.

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