The structure of natural hydrate-bearing sediments that exist offshore or onshore is a combination of coarse-grained sediments and fine-grained particles. During gas production from hydrate-bearing sediments, fine particles may migrate with the flowing fluids within pore space and cause clogging of the pore space of the porous media. Therefore, fine particles play a significant role during methane production from hydrate-bearing sediments as it impact the overall sediment formation performance and production efficiency. The migration of fine particles and its impact on clogging have been investigated in a single-phase flow, but it has not been clearly understood in a multi-phase flow. This research focuses on the study of fines migration and clogging behavior during single and multi-phase flow which can be implicated in gas production from hydrates bearing sediments. Microfluidic pore models that mimic porous media with different pore throat sizes were fabricated and utilized to study fines migration and clogging behavior in porous media. Artificial particles and natural fine particles were selected to represent fine particles. The impact of flow rate, pore-fluid types, particle concentration, and pore-throat to fine particle size ratio was investigated. Fine particles used in this research include polystyrene latex particles, silica, and kaolinite. Pore-fluids used in this study include deionized (DI) water, and sodium chloride (NaCl) brine (2M concentration). The particle concentrations covered from 0.1% to 10%. And the pore-throat widths were fabricated from 40 μm to 100 μm. Single-phase flow experiments were conducted to show that the concentration of fine particles required to form clogging in pores increased as flow rate decreased. The results obtained using polystyrene latex particles provide the insight at a relatively higher flow rate (50 μl/min) than literature studies that fine particles with 2% concentration can migrate in the pore throat without bridge or clogging at the various pore throat and fine particle size ratios (o/d = 2.6∼36.4). Furthermore, silica presents higher critical clogging concentration (0.5% in brine) compared with kaolinite (0.2% in brine) when the pore-throat width equal to 60 μm due to the larger pore throat and fine particle size ratio. On the other hand, the findings show that clogging easily occurred at a lower pore-throat to fine particle size ratio even with a few number of fine particles. In addition, pore-fluid type directly influences the tendency of fine's to form clusters which in turn impacts the clogging behavior. For instance, silica fines clogging easier occurs in brine solution compare within deionized water due to larger cluster size in brine, while kaolinite shows an opposite result which means the kaolinite has higher clogging possibility in deionized water compared within brine solution. On the other hand, findings of multi-phase flow experiments show that fine particles accumulate along the liquid-gas interface and migrate together, which in turn cause bridging or clogging to occur easily in pores. These observations imply that a multi-phase flow during gas production could easily form clogging in pores, in which the flow permeability of porous media decreases even though clogging has not occurred in the same conditions with a single-phase flow. Thus, the permeability of porous media in engineering applications should be estimated by considering relatively easy clogging in pores in a multiphase flow compared to a single-phase flow. Findings of this research show the vital impact of pore-fluids and fluid-fluid interphase on fine particles migration and clogging in porous media. It provides a better understanding of the fines migration and clogging mechanisms. In addition, the results indicate the need to understand the types of fines and fluids in reservoir before evaluating if there will be a clogging potential during gas production from hydrates bearing sediments.


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