The reporting of potential resources is essential to assess the future development plan and profitability of a petroleum discovery, but if the project is under appraised and production data are absent, analysts often use analogs for preliminary estimates of technically recoverable volumes. To address this, a workflow is presented for selecting appropriate analogs for unconventional plays and using them to estimate the target play's potential. The proposed technique is demonstrated with a case study of the as-yet undeveloped Bowland Shale, which is the most prominent of the shale plays in the United Kingdom (UK) and is at the early stage of its assessment. The paper describes the current shale gas activity in the UK, highlighting the enviromental constraints placed on would-be Bowland Shale developers, which impact on drilling and production operations and stem from the geographic proximity of urban developments, infrastructure and nature, which limit the size of well pad footprint in the UK where land use is high. Studies have estimated the play's in-place resources for possible future development, but there are few estimates of its corresponding recoverable volumes due to lack of production history. At the outset, a database is created with published minimum-average-maximum ranges of key parameters such as total organic carbon, maturity level, gas filled porosity, permeability, etc. that play a major role in resources estimation and recovery potential for all unconventional plays. A comparison of triangular distributions, key parameter by key parameter, between the target shale play and the analog database, is then carried out using novel graphical and statistical methods to establish a "confidence factor" relating to the analog's viability. The most appropriate analog for the Bowland Shale is chosen from an exhaustive list of North American shale gas plays. Analytical approaches are then used to transform a model of the published type well performance of the selected analog by exchanging key model parameters with those of the target shale play. The paper shows how UK operational constraints can be statistically incorporated into the workflow and have a marked effect on the estimated recovery from the Bowland Shale.
Berawala, Dhruvit Satishchandra (Department of Energy and Petroleum Technology, University of Stavanger, Norway and The National IOR Centre of Norway) | Østebø Andersen, Pål (Department of Energy Resources, University of Stavanger, Norway and The National IOR Centre of Norway)
Only 3-10 % of gas from tight shale is recovered economically through natural depletion, demonstrating a significant potential for enhanced shale gas recovery (ESGR). Experimental studies have demonstrated that shale kerogen/organic matter has higher affinity for CO2 than methane, CH4, which opens possibilities for carbon storage and new production strategies.
This paper presents a new multicomponent adsorption isotherm which is coupled with a flow model for evaluation of injection-production scenarios. The isotherm is based on the assumption that different gas species compete for adsorbing on a limited specific surface area. Rather than assuming a capacity of a fixed number of sites or moles this finite surface area is filled with species taking different amount of space per mole. The final form is a generalized multicomponent Langmuir isotherm. Experimental adsorption data for CO2 and CH4 on Marcellus shale are matched with the proposed isotherm using relevant fitting parameters. The isotherm is first applied in static examples to calculate gas in place reserves, recovery factors and enhanced gas recovery potential based on contributions from free gas and adsorbed gas components. The isotherm is further coupled with a dynamic flow model with application to CO2-CH4 substitution for CO2-ESGR. We study the feasibility and effectiveness of CO2 injection in tight shale formations in an injection-production setting representative of lab and field implementation and compare with regular pressure depletion.
The production scenario we consider is a 1D shale core or matrix system intitally saturated with free and adsorbed CH4 gas with only left side (well) boundary open. During primary depletion, gas is produced from the shale to the well by advection and desorption. This process tends to give low recovery and is entirely dependent on the well pressure. Stopping production and then injecting CO2 into the shale leads to increase in pressure where CO2 gets preferentially adsorbed over CH4. The injected CO2 displaces, but also mixes with the in situ CH4. Restarting production from the well then allows CH4 gas to be produced in the gas mixture. Diffusion allows the CO2 to travel further into the matrix while keeping CH4 accessible to the well. Surface substitution further reduces the CO2 content and increases the CH4 content in the gas mixture that is produced to the well. A result of the isotherm and its application of Marcellus experimental data is that adsorption of CO2 with resulting desorption of CH4 will lead to a reduction in total pressure if the CO2 content in the gas composition is increased. That is in itself an important drive mechanism since the pressure gradient driving fluid flow is maintained (pressure buildup is avoided). This is a result of CO2 being found to take ~24 times less space per mol than CH4.
Analytically-derived criteria are presented for the orientation of fracture initiation from horizontal wellbores drilled in porous-permeable (poroelastic) media. This involves drilling-induced tensile fractures (DITFs) from non-perforated wellbores and completion-induced hydraulic fractures (CIHFs) from perforated wellbores with cylindrical perforation geometry. The criteria are developed considering the tangential stresses on two points (extremes) around the base of the perforation; one for the initiation of longitudinal fractures and another for the initiation of transverse fractures, with respect to the wellbore. In-situ stress state, wellbore pressure, and the formation's mechanical and poroelastic properties are independent variables that are shown to control the orientation of the initiated hydraulic fractures; the dependent variable.
The DITF orientation can be used to constrain the magnitude of the maximum horizontal stress; the most difficult aspect of the in-situ stress tensor to constrain. Transverse CIHF initiation only occurs over a narrow wellbore pressure-at-breakdown window, while longitudinal initiation occurs at comparatively higher wellbore pressures. However, transverse CIHF initiation occurs more frequently than transverse DITFs, because the presence of perforations aids transverse fracture initiation. The region of the in-situ stress states where transverse initiation is promoted is shown in dimensionless plots for perforated and non-perforated wellbores. Fracture initiation criteria for specific cases presented can be used to predict the orientation of fracture initiation in oilfield operations.
The orientation of CIHFs controls the productivity of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Productivity from low permeability formations is greatly improved having multiple fractures oriented transversely rather than longitudinally, relative to a horizontal wellbore. Fracture initiation often follows a plane different to the final fracture propagation plane. Stress re-orientation in the near-wellbore region may promote fracture initiation of different orientation than the orientation dictated by the far-field stresses. The range of in-situ stress states in which transverse fracture initiation is promoted increases as Biot's poroelastic coefficient,
Data Analytics is progressively gaining traction as a viable resource to improve forecasts and reserve estimations in most prospective US shale plays. Part of those learnings has been tested for the reserves and resources estimation of the next worldwide top-class shale play, Vaca Muerta formation in Argentina. In this work, we rely on advanced artificial intelligence methods to automate workflows for production forecasting and reserve estimation in the Vaca Muerta formation. To achieve this goal, we develop a computational platform capable of integrating several sequential operations into a single automated workflow: (1) data gathering; (2) data preparation; (3) model fitting and forecasting and, (4) EUR estimation. As new data becomes available, each of these steps is performed automatically. The proposed platform also integrates with advanced business intelligence tools that aid at facilitating graphical interpretation and communication among specialists and decision makers. Hence, the suggested workflow can deliver production forecasts several magnitudes faster than traditional workflows while maintaining accurate and engineering sound results. Having fast and reliable forecast turnarounds allow for timely tracking key differences and commonalities among multiple shale plays to facilitate informed decision strategies in unconventional field evaluation and development.
Zeng, Jie (The University of Western Australia) | Li, Wai (The University of Western Australia) | Liu, Jishan (The University of Western Australia) | Leong, Yee-Kwong (The University of Western Australia) | Elsworth, Derek (The Pennsylvania State University) | Tian, Jianwei (The University of Western Australia) | Guo, Jianchun (Southwest Petroleum University)
After performing hydraulic fracturing treatments in shale reservoirs, the hydraulic fractures and their adjacent reservoir rocks can be damaged. Typically, the following fracture damage scenarios may occur: (1) choked fractures with near-wellbore damage; (2) partially propped fractures with unpropped or poorly propped sections within the fractures; (3) fracture face damage; and (4) multiple damage cases. The basic equations of fracture skin factors, which are widely used to depict fracture damage, are derived under steady-state conditions. They are not accurate when the damaged length is relatively long and are not applicable for multiple fracture damage and partially propped fractures. In this paper, a new composite linear flow model is established considering all above-mentioned fracture damage mechanisms, complex gas transport mechanisms, and the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) of shale gas reservoirs.
The matrix model is modified from de Swaan-O's spherical element model considering the slip flow, Knudsen diffusion, surface diffusion, and desorption. Natural fractures are idealized as a thin layer that evenly covers the matrix. The reservoir-fracture flow model is extended from the seven-region linear flow model with four additional sub-regions to handle single and multiple fracture damage mechanisms. Specifically, the inner reservoir region near the primary hydraulic fracture is treated as the SRV where the secondary fracture permeability is higher than that of other unstimulated dual-porosity regions and obeys a power-law decreasing trend due to the attenuate stimulation intensity within the SRV. The flows in different regions are coupled through flux and pressure continuity conditions at their interfaces.
This model is validated by matching with the Marcellus Shale production data. And the degraded model's calculation matches well with that of the seven-region linear flow model validated by KAPPA software. Type curves with five typical flow regimes are generated and sensitivity analyses are conducted. Results indicate that the presence of the SRV diminishes pressure and derivative values in certain flow regimes depending on the SRV properties. Fracture face damage, choked fracture damage, and partially propped fractures all control specific flow regimes but the fracture face damage shows the smallest influence, only dominating the late fracture linear flow regime and the matrix-fracture transient regime. In the multiple fracture damage case, some typical flow regimes can be easily identified except the partially propped fractures. The field application example further ensures the applicability in dealing with real field data.
Penghui, Su (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Zhaohui, Xia (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Ping, Wang (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Liangchao, Qu (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | xiangwen, Kong (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development) | Wenguang, Zhao (PetroChina Research Institute of Petroleum Explorationand and Development)
Interest has spread to potential unconventional shale reservoirs in the last decades, and they have become an increasingly important source of hydrocarbon. Importantly, pore structure of shale has considerable effects on the storage, seepage and output of the fluids in shale reservoirs so that reliable fractal characteristics are essential. To better understand the evolution characteristics of pore structure for a shale gas condensate reservoir and their influence on liquid hydrocarbon occurrences and reservoir physical properties, we conducted high-pressure mercury intrusion tests (HPMIs), field emission scanning electron microscopies (FESEM), total organic carbon (TOC), Rock-Eval pyrolysis and saturation measurements on samples from the Duvernay formation. Furthermore, the fractal theory is applied to calculate the fractal dimension of the capillary pressure curves, and three fractal dimensions D1, D2 and D3 are obtained. The relationships among the characteristics of the Duvernay shale (TOC, organic matter maturity, fluid saturation), the pore structure parameters (permeability, porosity, median pore size), and the fractal dimensions were investigated.
The results show that the fractal dimension D1 ranges from 2.44 to 2.85, D2 ranges from 2.09 to 2.15 and D3 ranges from 2.35 to 2.48. D2 and D3 have a good positive correlation. The pore system studied mainly consists of organic pores and microfractures, with the percentage of micropores being 50.38%. TOC has a positive relationship with porosity and D3 due to the development of organic pores. D3 has a positive correlation with gas saturation. With increased D3, median pore size shows a decreasing trend and an increase in permeability and porosity, demonstrating that D3 has a large effect on pore size distribution and the heterogeneity of pore size. In general, D3 has a better correlation with petrophysical and petrochemical parameters. Fractal theory can be applied to better understand the pore evolution, pore size distribution and fluid storage capacity of shale reservoirs.
Using planar fracture models to match treatment pressure and improve understanding of the fracture geometry generation is not a new concept. Knowledge gained from this exercise has historically been used to improve engineered fracture completions and production, and maximize net present value (NPV); however, at some point during the progression from vertical to horizontal wellbores, many within the industry have forgotten about the learnings that can still be gained from current fracture models. Engineered completions have been largely replaced by spreadsheet efficiencies relevant to operations rather than production in too many cases. Some images of unconventional well stimulation treatments portray fractures growing in every direction, forming patterns that resemble shattered windshields, and have often excluded the known physics related to rock geomechanics, reservoir properties, and geology. Excuses to dismiss modeling are numerous and are gaining the reasoning of conformists.
Unconventional resource plays might or might not contain large numbers of natural fractures; but, current fracture models can still be used to gain insight into the fracture geometries being generated. While the development of complex fracture models continues to evolve, the industry can still gain insight to fracture geometry and resulting production using current planar fracture modeling. Caveats to this process are that it requires: Valid measured data to establish model constraints. The engineer to understand the basic physics of how fractures are generated and when (and when not) to twist the "knobs" in the model. The engineer to understand which "knobs" should be used based on real diagnostics information. The actual single well production to be an integral part of the process.
Valid measured data to establish model constraints.
The engineer to understand the basic physics of how fractures are generated and when (and when not) to twist the "knobs" in the model.
The engineer to understand which "knobs" should be used based on real diagnostics information.
The actual single well production to be an integral part of the process.
This paper demonstrates the results of honoring data measurements from a multitude of potential sources, including downhole microseismic data, downhole deformation tiltmeters, offset pressure monitoring, DTS, DAS, diagnostic fracture injection test (DFIT) analysis, injection as well as production data with bottomhole pressure measurements, etc., and the resulting observations and conclusions. Several industry examples are discussed to help frame the vast amount of information possible to help engineers do a better job of including more diagnostics into routine operations to provide additional insight and ultimately result in improved models and completion designs.
This paper is not intended to merely demonstrate the results of the work but to spark an interest in bringing more intense engineering back to fracture stimulation modeling for horizontal completions.
Researchers at Texas Tech University have released a study into wastewater production and disposal in the Marcellus Shale, proposing disposal hubs across the state of Pennsylvania that could reduce trucking distances. Supply and Demand in Unconventionals: Where Do Service Companies Fit? Service company executives examine how the oil price downturn affected supply and demand for their services in the unconventional sector, and strategies they have undertaken to stay afloat as operators adjust to uncertainty. The effectiveness of delivering information about a new energy project to community stakeholders varies based on the method used; how a message is framed can affect individual opinions.