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Issues Concerning Application of Horizontal Well Data in 3-D Modeling of Shale Reservoirs

Abstract

Horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing are the crucial techniques that make the commercial production of shale gas and shale oil possible. In the core area of shale gas/oil reservoirs, more and more horizontal wells have been and are going to be drilled. Besides aiding in shale gas/oil production, horizontal wells also bring lots of data available for shale reservoir characterization and 3-D modeling. Even though there is not essential difference of the acquired data in horizontal wells and vertical wells, the method to use the data could be rather distinct. Along with the continuous development of shale gas/oil reservoirs, there are much more horizontal wells than vertical wells in most of the shale gas/oil reservoirs. This situation is not familiar for petroleum geologists and reservoir engineers, but will become more common for those who work on shale reservoir evaluation. How to effectively use the data in horizontal well for shale reservoir characterization and modeling is a topic that should be dealt with. This research focused on the discussion of 3-D modeling of shale reservoir on the basis of data primarily in horizontal wells with secondary in vertical wells. First, we discussed the effects of data in horizontal wells on the methods of structural modeling, primarily the parts of horizon surface modeling. Different from vertical wells, the horizontal wells provide more information of the formation surface distribution along the direction of horizontal wells. Second, the property modeling will be discussed, which is the major part where data in horizontal wells affect the method of 3-D modeling or shale reservoirs. One reason is that the statistical analysis plays a significant role of the spatial interpolation in property modeling and the results of statistical analysis dramatically depend on the data provided for the 3-D modeling. To understand the difference of data in horizontal wells and vertical wells and their effects on 3-D modeling method of shale reservoir is very meaningful for understanding the properties of shale reservoir.