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The new numbers for the Marcellus Shale and Point Pleasant-Utica Shale represent large increases from previous USGS assessments of both formations. Production and proved reserves in the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation are reaching new heights, and a new assessment from the US Geological Survey indicates the industry is just scratching the subsurface when it comes to what may be technically recoverable. Major oil discoveries by Armstrong Oil & Gas and ConocoPhillips have compelled the US Department of the Interior to reassess its estimate of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in parts of Alaska. The list of the biggest gas plays in the US is being revised as the US Geological Survey creates new estimates based on additional drilling results and available rock samples. New at Number 2 is the Mancos Shale on the Western Slope of the Rockies with 66 Tcf in recoverable reserves.
When methane is found in water wells near an unconventional well, fingers point to fracturing as the likely suspect. But a study of wells in the Utica Shale named other sources. The Texas Supreme Court ruled late in April that the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator, does not have exclusive jurisdiction over environmental contamination cases, which can be settled in court.
When methane is found in water wells near an unconventional well, fingers point to facturing as the liklely suspect. But a study of wells in the Utica Shale named other sources. In unconventional plays, comparing the effect of different completion designs or well-management strategies on well performance remains a challenge because of the relatively brief production history and lack of long-term field analogs of these plays.
In 2 months, the US saw a 56% decline in rig count, reaching a 33-year low. When fracturing slowed last year in the Marcellus, companies holding produced water they did not need for fracturing paid other operators to take it. It provided a cheap source of fracturing water then, and in the future, water trading could reduce the high cost of shipping water. Antero Resources has built a huge plant to turn waste water into fresh water and salt for sale. The $275-million investment in West Virginia is the most tangible indication of how operators in the Marcellus are pushing water reuse.
As studies point to increased emissions, ExxonMobil is stepping up efforts to detect and mitigate methane release. Instead of burning money, why not make electricity? This is the big pitch being made by a growing number of technology companies who see green every time they see a red-hot flare burning associated gas. When methane is found in water wells near an unconventional well, fingers point to facturing as the liklely suspect. But a study of wells in the Utica Shale named other sources.
The new numbers for the Marcellus Shale and Point Pleasant-Utica Shale represent large increases from previous USGS assessments of both formations. A fracturing test site in West Virginia has quietly made a data trove available on the website of the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Lab. A drilling team has focused on increasing lateral lengths in the Marcellus Shale. The team determined which operational practices would need to be revised in order to drill and case laterals in excess of 18,000 ft. In this work, the authors perform automatic decline analysis on Marcellus Shale gas wells and predict ultimate recovery for each well.
In the complete paper, the authors revisit fundamental concepts of reservoir simulation in unconventional reservoirs and summarize several examples that form part of an archive of lessons learned. New report offers guidelines for pressure pumpers of the future. A 3-year study of air quality, soils, groundwater, and waterways found few to no effects as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations in Surat Basin coal seam formations. Not everybody suffers when US oil producers slash production. Among the beneficiaries could be US gas producers who will benefit because less oil production will mean a lot less gas on the US market.
New report offers guidelines for pressure pumpers of the future. A 3-year study of air quality, soils, groundwater, and waterways found few to no effects as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations in Surat Basin coal seam formations. Not everybody suffers when US oil producers slash production. Among the beneficiaries could be US gas producers who will benefit because less oil production will mean a lot less gas on the US market. A downhole compressor solution based on advanced magnetic technologies completed its first field trials in an unconventional gas well.
Wellbore instability has been experienced in areas of the Marcellus Shale and can become particularly troublesome in the superlaterals that are becoming more prevalent in that play. Often the instability while drilling these very long lateral wells is minimal; problems are more likely to occur while tripping out after reaching TD. The most common instability events when pulling out of the hole appear to be tight hole, pack-off and stuck pipe. These problems often worsen with time, indicating there is some time-dependence to the failure mechanism.
In order to develop effective mitigation strategies to combat the instability, it is imperative that the failure mechanism be correctly identified. Previous publications (Kowan and Ong, 2016; Addis et al. 2016; Riley et al. 2012) have suggested that bedding planes may play a role in some of the drilling problems experienced in the Marcellus Shale. In this paper, we will present a case study from the Marcellus that shows conclusive proof of weak bedding plane failure along a lateral well, where thousands of feet of anisotropic failure were captured with a LWD image log.
This image provided confirmation of the presence and failure of weak bedding planes in the Marcellus Shale. The image was also used to validate an existing geomechanical model for the area and gave the operator more confidence in the mitigation strategies developed from that geomechanical model, which had been based on the assumption that weak bedding was contributing to difficulty experienced on multiple lateral wells when tripping out of the hole.
This case study will begin with an overview of the geomechanical model, including the drilling history, stress/pore pressure model and rock properties. Next, some highlights from the image log, showing anisotropic bedding plane failure, will be featured as well as a comparison of the image to the geomechanical model. This case study will conclude with a review of proposed mitigation strategies that could be implemented by the operator to limit the risks posed by weak beds and minimize instability, when drilling laterals in this area, or similarly complex areas, of the Marcellus Shale.