World-class training for the modern energy industry

Geological Controls on Production in Unconventional Reservoirs (G052)

  • TypeType: Classroom, Virtual
  • TypeDiscipline: Reservoir Characterization, Resource Plays
  • TypeDuration: 3 days

Tutor(s)

Bruce Hart: Department of Earth Sciences, Western University

Overview

This course classifies unconventional reservoirs from a petroleum systems perspective and leads participants through how depositional controls on reservoir architecture and mechanical stratigraphy affect development strategies.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 3 days; a mix of lectures exercises. The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: Four 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 4 days (morning sessions in North America, afternoon sessions in Europe). A digital manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. Intended for subsurface professionals (geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, reservoir-, completion- and drilling engineers) who have some working knowledge of unconventional reservoirs but are looking to understand how multi-disciplinary integration can improve exploration and development decisions.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Describe unconventional reservoirs based on all parts of their petroleum system’s character, and use that knowledge in a predictive way at all steps from exploration to development
  2. Maximize the benefit of common tools for unconventional reservoir characterization.
  3. Define stratigraphic and structural controls on development strategies: landing-zone definition, horizontal vs vertical wells
  4. Develop a common language that can be used to facilitate information exchange between various engineering and geoscience subdisciplines.

Course Content

This course classifies unconventional reservoirs from a petroleum systems perspective and leads participants through hands-on exercises (data from the Eagle Ford, Bakken, San Juan Basin and elsewhere) that reinforce the concepts of depositional controls on reservoir architecture and fractures.

The term “unconventional reservoirs” encompasses a wide range of reservoir types: tight-gas sandstones, naturally fractured reservoirs, source-rock (“shale”) plays, etc. The

common bond is that the reservoirs have permeabilities measured in the nano- to microDarcy range and require hydraulic fracturing and/or horizontal drilling for production to be economic. These reservoirs develop in a variety of different petroleum systems. In some, e.g., tight-oil sandstones, the source rock and reservoir are separate. In other cases, e.g., source-rock reservoirs, the source- and reservoir rocks are the same. Because of these and other genetic differences, exploration and development strategies need to be tailored to optimize economic return.

Goals of the course include:

  • Examine how a genetic classification of unconventional reservoirs, using concepts from petroleum systems analyses, can guide decision making from exploration to development stages of a play.
  • Illustrate how depositional controls on reservoir architecture and mechanical stratigraphy affect development strategies: the choice of horizontal vs vertical wells, landing zone definition, frack barrier identification, etc.
  • Characterize the positive and negative effects of natural fractures and faults and means for their identification.
  • Examine how to maximize the benefit of common tools (triple combo logs, core analyses, etc.) for identifying the potential of unconventional reservoirs.

Introduction

  • Petroleum systems to completion design: the wholistic view
  • What are petroleum systems?
  • Conventional vs unconventional plays (petroleum systems perspective)
  • Unconventional play types
  • Pressure systems
  • Horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and factory drilling

Source-Rock Reservoirs (“Shale Plays”)

  • Petroleum systems characterization of source-rock reservoirs
  • Source-rock characterization
  • Mineralogy and mechanical properties of source-rock reservoirs
  • Pore systems and reservoir quality
  • Eagle Ford case study & exercise

Tight-Oil Reservoirs

  • Petroleum systems characterization of tight-oil reservoirs
  • Shaley sandstones: petrophysical evaluation, pore-system characterization
  • Bakken and Cardium case studies and exercises

Naturally Fractured Reservoirs

  • Petroleum systems characterization of naturally fractured reservoirs
  • Fracture characterization
  • Fractures and fluid flow
  • Drilling naturally fractured reservoirs
  • Mesaverde Group (San Juan and Piceance Basin) case studies and exercises

Synthesis

  • Beginning with the end in mind: Thinking “development” during exploration
  • The Unconventional-Conventional Spectrum: hybrids, haloes & headaches
  • Stratigraphic controls on unconventional reservoir potential
  • Structural controls on unconventional reservoir potential
  • Full integration, from start to finish
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