ABSTRACT

A series of triaxial tests has been carried out to determine the mechanical properties and dissociation characteristics of sands with fines containing methane hydrate, using an innovative high pressure apparatus which has been developed to reproduce the in-situ conditions expected during proposed methane extraction methods. It was found that the strength of MH sand increased with MH saturation due to particle bonding and that the bonding effect was particularly dependent on the grain size of the host sand. A high pressure and low temperature plane strain testing apparatus was also developed for visualizing the deformation of methane hydrate bearing sand due to methane hydrate production. Using this testing apparatus, plane strain compression and methane hydrate dissociation by depressurization tests were performed with the measurement of localized deformation.

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