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The Antrim Shale, Fractured Gas Reservoirs with Immense Potential

Katherine C. Manger, Thomas J. Previous HitWoodsNext Hit, Previous HitJohnTop B. Curtis, Michael D. Zuber, and Lynn McLarty

Antrim shale gas production has grown from 0.4 Bcf of gas in 1987 to 127 Bcf in 1994, causing record gas production in Michigan. Recent industry activity suggests the play will continue to expand.

The GRI Hydrocarbon Model's Antrim resource base description was developed in 1991 based on industry activity through 1990. The 1991 description estimated 32 Tcf of recoverable resource, and was limited to northern Michigan which represents only part of the Antrim's total potential. This description indicated production could increase manyfold, even with low prices. However, its well recovery rate is less than current industry results and projected near term production lags actual production by 1 to 2 years.

GRI is updating its description to better reflect current industry results and incorporate all prospective areas. The description in northern Michigan is updated using production and well data through 1994 and results from GRI's research program. The description is then expanded to the entire basin. Results indicate the northern resource is somewhat larger than the previous estimate and the wells perform better. Extrapolation to the entire basin using a geologic analog model approximately doubles the 1991 estimate. The model considers depositional, structural, and tectonic influences; fracturing; organic content; thermal history; and hydrocarbon generation, migration and storage. Pleistocene glaciation and biogenic gas are also included for areas near the Antrim subcrop.

AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California