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Shifting Paradigms: Play-Based/ Risk Analysis for Reservoir Characterization of Nonconventional and Conventional Energy Resources in Alberta

Hein, Frances J.*1; Beaton, Andrew 2; Rokosh, Dean 2
(1) Energy Resources Conservation Board, Calgary, AB, Canada.
(2) Energy Resource Assessment Group, Energy Resources Conservation Board, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Recent development of new drilling and completion technologies has increased the energy resources of Alberta for future production. These new and emerging energy resource plays include shale gas and condensate, as well as tight oil and gas from fine-grained, mixed-bed lithologies of distal portions of traditional conventional oil and gas fields that until now were not considered economic. In addition previously by-passed zones of conventional oil and gas fields are also being exploited by the new technologies, including multi-stage hydraulic fracturing from multi-lateral, horizontal well-pads, some of which are also using enhanced oil recovery, along with CO2 sequestration. Such technological developments have lead to a different regional resource classification scheme, including characterization of reservoirs on a continuum-basis ranging from small-scale conventional pools, to broad-scale regional development entities. Micro- and macroscopic reservoir characterization includes core description, organic geochemistry, SEM analysis, X-Ray diffraction mineralogy, geochemistry, measurement of rock physical properties, and analysis of production-decline curves. Regional characterization involves up-scaling of micro-and macro- geo-engineering properties, along with integration of regional maps, cross sections and sequence stratigraphy.

Results separate plays into reservoirs with distinct end-member types, which when combined with other socioeconomic factors, allow for site-specific development of the different resources in a risk-weighted regulatory framework. Regional syntheses are incorporated into a real-time energy play-catalogue for the province. Integration of the play-area catalogue with other factors, such as economic, environmental and social aspects, results in a fully integrated management scheme for the energy resources of Alberta.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California