Shale Gas Production Decline Trend Comparison over Time and Basins
- Jason David Baihly (Schlumberger) | Raphael Mark Altman (Schlumberger) | Raj Malpani (Schlumberger) | Fang Luo (Schlumberger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 19-22 September, Florence, Italy
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 5.8.1 Tight Gas, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.2.2 Geomechanics, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 2.2.2 Perforating, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 5.8.4 Shale Oil, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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Production from shale gas reservoirs has formed an increasingly large part of the U.S. natural gas mix in the last few years. More than half of the rigs in onshore U.S. will be drilling horizontal wells with a large majority in shale plays. (Baker Hughes, 2010) Within the last year, shale gas plays have dominated the onshore U.S. natural gas drilling activity, with this boom occurring during a time of economic uncertainty. However, skepticism has recently been placed on shale gas production decline trends from consultants and investment firms, where estimated ultimate recoveries (EURs) and the overall economic feasibility of shale gas plays have been brought into question.
EURs of shale gas wells have been forecast in a number of ways within the industry. Some entities have been calculating EURs based on initial production rates (IPs). Others are applying the decline trends established in one basin to a different, newer basin with less production history. In other cases, two different operators may use different trend types in wells that are in the same location.
This paper seeks to more accurately assess the decline trends and EURs of these shale plays, if the decline trends are improving, and what returns are required to make a well economically feasible. This study compares the production trends of horizontal wells in the Barnett Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Woodford Shale, Haynesville Shale, and Eagle Ford Shale plays, analyzing each over time to determine if there have been improvements in production. Where applicable we address the impact that technology has made in this enhanced production. Furthermore, the decline trends of horizontal shale to horizontal tight gas sandstone plays are examined to look for differences and shed some light on potential EURs.
The results of the analysis helped establish which decline trends could be used to determine the EUR of these horizontal shale wells, or if a better methodology may exist. A basic economic analysis to estimate breakeven gas price for a median (P50) horizontal well in each play was performed.
Natural gas production from shale gas formations has shown a rapidly growing trend in recent years. The Barnett Shale formation is already producing 6% of all natural gas onshore in the lower 48 states of the U.S. (U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2010) The two major enablers for the emergence of shale gas plays in the U.S. have been technological advances and process time efficiency gains in both horizontal drilling, completions, and stimulation operations. The boom has also been aided by higher energy prices and declining production from conventional reservoirs from 2004 until 2008. The last couple of years have seen lower natural gas prices, and a correspondingly greater interest in estimating shale gas reserves as some U.S. shale plays have become marginally economical.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||26|