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A Walk through our Understanding and Experiences of the Vaca Muerta Shale Play

Hernán I. Stockman
Technical Professional, Halliburton Argentina

The scope of this work is to present our understanding of the reservoir, while we walk through the learning curve. Through our own experiences, we describe the steps we cover for the appropriate stimulation design, based on fluid type to recover and reservoir conditions.

While using Halliburton’s proprietary methodology, we breakdown the analysis under four aspects, from the sweet spot identification to the assay of the obtained results.

  • Is this a reservoir and if so, can it be economically produced?
  • What is the best base fluid for fracture stimulation?
  • What about Mechanical Properties and Fracture Modeling?
  • What is the reservoir response? Do we understand the reservoir dynamics?
  • Having found ourselves at an early stage of the basin development, the identification of analog reservoirs is undoubtedly an advantage when going through the analysis and execution stages. Properties such as reservoir thickness, TOC, Thermal Maturity (Ro), Kerogen type, and mineralogy are key for identification, and from there, determination of well completion type and fracture design. Knowing what worked best at a similar play, presents an excellent opportunity to tighten the learning curve. Of course, we shouldn’t commit the mistake of assuming that all shale plays are alike.

    Having done jobs all over the basin and having completed from top to base Vaca Muerta Formation, we observed consistent behaviors between them. Nonetheless, beyond general guidelines, there is not a single recipe for stimulation. Finding us now, on a more advance stage of the shale play development, we were able to collect data allowing us to look back what was done, finding what work best and what can be improved. For sure, there is long way to go in the Neuquén basin.

     

    AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90165©AAPG 2012 GEOSCIENCE TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP, 2-4 December 2012, Buenos Aires, Argentina