Optimizing Lateral Placement and Production while Minimizing Completion Costs: An Eagle Ford Case Study
Shale plays are an extremely difficult arena in which to explore. Lack of heterogeneity is not the only problem. The Eagle Ford play, for example, has numerous hydrocarbon sources and multiple stacked zones. These multiple stacked pays result in mixed drilling success with both economic and noneconomic drilling results. In addition there are numerous migration pathways in various parts of the field and charge source or kitchen vary with placement in the field as well.
Towards that end, a variety of logging technologies provide information during drilling as to the presence of hydrocarbons. However, these logging technologies do not measure hydrocarbons directly, but rather measure hydrocarbon proxies and infer hydrocarbon presence and phase based on this data. These technologies, while sophisticated can lack specificity and sensitivity when trying to accurately identify hydrocarbons.
Additionally, some new technologies can monitor hydrocarbons from n–C1 (methane) to n–C8 (octane) and expand the scope of hydrocarbon detection. These new technologies can clearly detect gas range organics and can infer light oils and condensates. However, all of these technologies lack the ability to measure the heart of the oil or liquid hydrocarbon fingerprint of n–C7 (heptane) to n–C15 (pentadecane). Thus, accurately characterizing and differentiating between multiple oil fingerprints becomes difficult, if not impossible, for current technologies. As such, these limitations negatively impact the ability of companies to properly assess zones of highest hydrocarbon richness and porosity. As a result, companies commonly have template completion and fracturing schemes that generate production, but are not optimal.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90219 © 2015 GCAGS, Houston, Texas, September 20-22, 2015