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Advanced Analytical and Isotopic Technologies to Enhance Development Efficiency in Unconventional Resources


Enabling the wellsite laboratory that has comparable analytical capability to stationary lab has long been motivated and demanded, as it would provide rapid, dynamic and first-hand information of the target well. In the recent years, we have made major progress by implementing advanced and unique technology to our wellsite lab, and integrating data and interpretation in our specially-designed software. These efforts bring new domain of analytical and interpretation power to the unconventional resources development. First of all, we break through with high quality wellsite isotope analysis and add key insights in reservoir characteristics. In the past 2 years, we have been building up experience and knowledge in the well-site real-time isotope analysis and interpretations. We studied the use of isotopes to predict condensate quantity and the gas to oil ratios (GOR), which are among the major parameters to predict production rate. We developed the novel tool to identify “sweet spots” using real-time isotopes, which involves permeability assessment by obtaining time sequences of isotope dynamics for C1-C3. In addition, we have used the high-density real-time isotope data to assess reservoir connectivity. Such interpretations are now directly available from our newly-developed software. A different perspective of using real-time isotope data to enhance the development efficiency is the isotope tool to predict production decline. Isotope ratios of methane changes with the process of methane production (recovery). Therefore, the detailed recording of methane isotope data at the wellsite can indicate recovery extent (recovery ratios). Together with the production rate data, the total resource quantity may be predicted. This isotope tool further constrains the use of Arps' equations, and better predicts the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR). We conclude that our wellsite analytical technology increases efficiency of developing unconventional resources. To facilitate data management and interpretation, we have developed the data management and interpretation software. With the isotope data integrating with SERS Raman maturity assessment, upgraded light hydrocarbon evaluation instrument, XRF and XRD, we provide valuable and quantitative reservoir evaluation at the wellsite. The wellsite laboratory is readily and timely accessible to producers and leads to even greater returns from individual projects.