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Expedition UT-GOM2-01 General Information
Expedition Summary & Scientific Objectives
On this expedition, the UTIG-led research team is using an industry-drilling platform (Helix Q4000) to drill two holes immediately adjacent to the previously- drilled Green Canyon 955-H well (GC-955H) that was drilled using logging while drilling (LWD) technology by the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project II in 2009. Approximately 14 days will be spent at GC955 drilling two wells in ~6670 ft (2033 m) of water depth to target a hydrate bearing zone (1360-1460 fbsf) (414 – 445 mbsf) composed of thinly-bedded sandstones and mudstones.
The team will take ten, 9.8 ft (3.0 m) long pressure cores in each well using the Pressure Coring Tool with Ball Valve (PCTB) from Geotek Coring. They will test two configurations of the PCTB: the cutting shoe and face bit configurations. The team will use the Pressure Core Analysis and Transfer System (PCATS) from Geotek Coring to characterize cores and transfer the samples to pressurized storage devices on the drilling vessel.
While shipboard, the they will image and log the pressure cores and measure hydrate concentration and collect samples to analyze gas composition through de-gassing. Shipboard PCATS, degassing, and sampling operations will continue for up to 10 days after the expedition in Port Fourchon, LA.
The team will transport up to twenty 1.2 m sections of pressurized cores back to the University of Texas for storage, further analysis, and distribution to other institutions. They will also wireline log the cored section and collect depressurized samples for geochemical, microbiological, and geotechnical analysis.
If you are a member of the media looking for more information on the expedition, please contact:
Director of Communications, UT Jackson School for Geosciences
Office: (512) 232-9623