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An Integrated Approach Using Geotechnology to Unlock the Secrets of Low Permeability Reservoirs

Sadykhov, Said; Collamore, Adam; Guidry, Martha; Palmer, Wes; Harrison, Charlie

One of the most significant developments in the oil and gas industry for the last decade was the tremendous economic success in the development of the unconventional shale plays in the United States. Advances in horizontal drilling, reservoir characterization, completion, interpretation and extraction methods from unconventional plays such as the Barnett, Marcellus, Haynesville and Fayetteville have grown rapidly and started to play a major role in the natural gas production in the USA. The experience gained in early years is helping to unlock resources in more unconventional plays in North America, resulting in significant growth of shale gas resources across the continent.

North American success has sparked a worldwide interest in development of shale gas reservoirs. There are increasing interest and exploration activities to unlock unconventional resources by both multi-national E&P companies and government entities in Europe, South America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Unconventional exploration in areas outside North America is in its early stages, and can be accelerated by adopting best practices learned from North American experience and applying the right technologies to explore these plays.

Experience gained in developing unconventional resources in North America has led to the development of a formation evaluation workflow specifically designed for evaluation of these complex reservoirs. This integrated workflow combines petrophysical, geological characterization and geomechanical analysis and applies the results to both the pilot hole and lateral drilling programs and completion strategies.

This presentation describes the application of these techniques in US shale plays as analogues to worldwide unconventional reservoir exploitation. By incorporating fracture stimulation design and performance results with formation evaluation datasets the overall economic viability of low permeability reservoirs is achieved.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013