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AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting

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Powder River Basin Performance Drivers – Merging Reservoir and Production KPIs

Abstract

The Powder River Basin in Wyoming has a long and rich history of hydrocarbon production. With the advancement of technology enabling hydrocarbon production from tight rock (“unconventionals”), interest in and the viability of the stacked unconventional reservoirs of the Powder River Rocky Mountain Section – AAPG: 2019 Annual Meeting 42 Basin has grown in recent years. In the six-year period prior to 2013, there were 183 horizontal wells completed targeting unconventional reservoirs of the Sussex Sandstone member of the Cody shale formation, Frontier Formation, Turner Sandstone Member of the Carlile Shale Formation, Parkman Sandstone Member of the Mesaverde Formation, and the Niobrara Formation. For the five-year period since 2013, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission reported 1068 horizontal wells were completed. The top three targets for horizontal wells during that period were the Turner Sandstone Member of the Carlile Shale Formation, Parkman Sandstone Member of the Mesaverde Formation, and the Niobrara Formation. Horizontal production results have been varied within these formations, and key reservoir quality indicators for the Powder River Basin are still being explored and understood. As the basin continues to grow, identifying new opportunities to exploit plays within the basin in viable ways is important. An integrated team has identified insightful trends in production that point to reservoir quality around the basin. Areas of sparse or non-existent data are explored using a geomodel of the Powder River Basin utilizing publicly available core and log data through an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach. Production data from public records is used to calibrate and verify this geomodel. The observations and insights from the multi-disciplinary Powder River basin study are presented here.