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A Technical and Economic Study of Completion Techniques in Five Emerging US Gas Shales: A Woodford Shale Example
- Archna Agrawal (Chevron) | Yunan Wei (C&C Reservoirs) | Stephen Holditch (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- March 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 39 - 49
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 1.6 Drilling Operations
- Five Emerging US Gas Shales, Shale gas, Economic Study, Completion Techniques
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- 2,434 since 2007
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With the increased demand for energy and the declining conventional hydrocarbons worldwide, energy companies are turning to unconventional resources such as shale gas. With more than 2, 000 Tcf of gas in place identified in just 5 shale gas plays in the United States, shale-gas formations are now the number one targets for exploration drilling. Furthermore, there are still many more major shale-gas plays and basins waiting to be explored, evaluated, and developed. Because of the extremely low permeability of most shale formations, it is essential to select the appropriate completion techniques for shale-gas reservoirs. There are very few papers in the petroleum literature that provide a logical method to select completion techniques for given shale-gas-reservoir conditions. There are papers discussing successful completion techniques that seem to work for a specific shale. We have used many of these SPE papers to help define "best practices" in completing shale-gas reservoirs. We then developed logic to determine the best practice in completing shale-gas reservoirs as a function of reservoir conditions. In this paper, we will specifically cover the logic we have developed for choosing completion techniques in shale-gas reservoirs.
First, we performed a literature review on the five basins as well as on all shale-gas plays in the US to determine the best practices in shale-gas completion techniques in fluctuating price environments and identify key geologic parameters that affect overall well performance. From our literature review, we identified seven pertinent geologic parameters that influence shale-gas completion practices. Next, we identified different completion trends in the industry for different geologic settings. Subsequently, we generated an economic model and performed sensitivity analysis to determine optimal completions for each gas-shale basin. On the basis of these economic models, we developed decision flow charts to select completion techniques. Finally, we programmed the flow chart, and we call this program Shale Gas Advisor. This program can be used to determine optimum completion best practices not only for the five gas-shale basins discussed, but also for gas-shale plays that have similar geologic attributes. We validated the program with published case histories in the SPE literature.
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Old, S., Holditch, S.A., Ayers, W.B., and McVay, D.A. 2008. PRISE: PetroleumResource Investigation Summary and Evaluation. Paper SPE 117703 presented atthe SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting, Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania, USA, 11-15 October http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/117703-MS.
Pickering, G. and Smead, R. 2008. North American Natural Gas SupplyAssessment. ACSF Commissioned Study, Navigant Consulting, Chicago, Illinois(July 2008), http://www.navigant.com/insights/library/energy/north_american_natural_gas_supply_assessment/.
Singh, K. 2006. Basin Analog Approach Answers Characterization Challengesof Unconventional Gas Potential in Frontier Basins. MS thesis, TexasA&M University, College Station, Texas (December 2006).
Singh, K., Holditch, S.A., and Ayers, W.B. Jr. 2007. Basin AnalogInvestigation Answer Characterization Challenges of Unconventional GasPotential in Frontier Basins. Paper OMAE 2007-29688 presented at the 26thInternational Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, SanDiego, California USA, 10-15 June.
Singh, K., Holditch, S.A., and Ayers, W.B. Jr. 2008. Basin AnalogInvestigations Answer Characterization Challenges of Unconventional GasPotential in Frontier Basins. J. Energy Resour. Technol. 130 (4): 043202-1-043202-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.3000104.
Wei, Y. 2009. An advisory system for the development of unconventionalgas reservoirs PhD dissertation, Texas A&M University, College Station,Texas (May 2009).
Wei, Y. and Holditch, S.A. 2009. Computing Estimated Values of OptimalFracture Half Length in the Tight Gas Sand Advisor Program. Paper SPE 119374presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, The Woodlands,Texas, USA, 19-21 January. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/119374-MS.
Wei, Y., Cheng, K., and Holditch, S.A. 2009. Multicomponent Advisory SystemCan Expedite Evaluation of Unconventional Gas Reservoirs. Paper SPE 124323presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans,4-7 October. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/124323-MS.
Wickstrom, C.W. 2008. Woodford Shale Gas in Oklahoma. Paper presented at the2008 AAPG Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 20-23 April. AAPG Searchand Discovery Article #90078, http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/abstracts/html/2008/annual/abstracts/409000.htm.
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