Unconventional Plays Require Non-Traditional Workflows
Bruno de Ribet
The greatest expansion of activity in unconventional plays in recent years has been in the United States, in the Bakken, Barnett and Eagle Ford plays. Huge oil reserve figures have been quoted for these three plays, totaling as high as 30 billion barrels. These forecasts have attracted many multinational companies, who are focusing their most advanced technologies on unconventional delineation, drilling, completion and production.
The current methodology is to identify these “sweet spots” and optimize production using intense horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Wells and sometimes conventional seismic data are commonly used when predicting rock properties (including physical and geomechanical properties) to determine the trend of maximum stress, and then define the wellbore path in order to facilitate hydraulic fracturing. The net result of these workflows in the Barnett Shale, for example, has been reported as 80 % of the production coming from 30 % of the completions. This suggests that there is room for improvement.
This presentation details new, enhanced-performance technology aimed at facilitating accurate reservoir characterization. The tools and workflows are designed to provide solutions for unconventional play types with an integrated and multi-domain approach across the entire workflow, from full-azimuth processing and imaging up to reservoir modeling, in order to reduce uncertainties when making decisions about well planning, drilling and completion.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90178©2013 AAPG Geosciences Technology Workshop, Baltimore, Maryland, July 16-17, 2013