A Comprehensive Shale Gas Exploitation Sequence for Pakistan and Other Emerging Shale Plays

Haider, Batool A. (Weatherford) | Aizad, Tanweer (Weatherford) | Ayaz, Syeda Areeba (University of Queensland) | Shoukry, Ahmed (Weatherford)



The explosive growth of shale gas production in the US has sparked a global race to determine which other regions from around the world have the potential to replicate this success. One of the main areas of focus is the Asia Pacific region, specifically Pakistan.


In this paper, real results from seven different US shale basins- Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Woodford (West-Central Oklahoma), Fayetteville and Bakken- have been used to develop a comprehensive sequence of shale exploitation strategy for emerging shale plays. The study involves integration of shale gas exploitation knowledge reinforced by a decade of experience across most of the North American shale gas basins, with published data. Different reservoir properties have been compared to develop a comprehensive logic of the effective techniques to produce from shale-gas reservoirs. We have validated the sequence with real results from US shale production ventures, published case histories, and by global experts who have been directly involved in shale reserves evaluation and production.


Subsequently, several different reservoir attributes of Pakistan shale plays have been compared with US basins, in an attempt to identify analogues.


It is the intent of this paper to diminish the difficult and often expensive learning cycle time associated with a commercially successful shale project, as well as to attempt to illustrate the most influential factors that determine optimum production. A very few papers in the petroleum literature that provide an extensive and systematic approach towards shale exploitation strategy for given shale-reservoir conditions



Encouraged by the U.S. successful experience with shale plays, many Asia Pacific countries including China and India - having 1275 & 63 TCF of technically recoverable Shale gas respectively - have already started off with aggressive plans to exploit their vast shale reserves.


Pakistan is currently suffering an energy shortfall of 2.3 BCF and the energy demand is expected to increase further by 245% until 2022, as compared to 2008. As its conventional reserves deplete, there is a need to work on new frontiers of energy sources. Unconventional gas resources, such as shale gas, tight gas and coal bed methane, are the avenues that should be focused on, in the current scenario.


According to EIA estimates, Pakistan's total Risked Gas in Place is 206 TCF, while its Technically Producible Shale Reserves are 51 TCF. It is interesting to compare these postulations with the Sui gas field serving the energy needs of Pakistan for decades, and having an estimated original recoverable reserve of 12 TCF. However, efforts to develop this potential resource have been lacking perhaps due to the economic and technological challenges.

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