World-class training for the modern energy industry

Geological Controls on Production in Unconventional Reservoirs (G052)

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

Geomechanics for Unconventional Developments (G051)

Tutor(s)

Marisela Sanchez-Nagel and/or Neal Nagel: OilField Geomechanics LLC

Overview

The course starts with an introduction to geomechanics fundamentals and then aspects relevant to unconventionals are developed, especially as they relate to the effect of fabric and heterogeneity. “Common knowledge” is challenged and popular procedures are presented in the light of geomechanics fundamentals and concepts. Recent topics such as cube developments and frac hits are discussed. This is an in-depth but engaging training course.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 3 days; a mix of lectures (80%) and hands-on exercises and/or examples (20%). 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: Five 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 5 days (morning sessions in North America, afternoon sessions in Europe). A digital manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course.

Interactive questioning and possibly breakout sessions will be utilized to reinforce learnings.

Level and Audience

Advanced. Intended for geoscientists, reservoir and completion engineers and petrophysicists who wish to understand how geomechanics can help them effectively develop their reservoirs.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand the fundamentals of geomechanics including stress and strain, pore pressure evaluation, mechanical rock behavior and geomechanical models.
  2. Gain an understanding of conventional fracturing models in unconventional developments and the associated workflow.
  3. Describe the properties of naturally fractured reservoirs including their influence on drilling, stimulation and production.
  4. Perform reservoir quality evaluations including the assessment of poroperm, natural fractures, pressures and mechanical properties as quality indicators.
  5. Characterize shale properties including shale types, brittle versus ductile behavior and geological scenarios for completions.
  6. Assess the influence of the stress field and in-situ pore pressure on hydraulic fracture behavior.
  7. Assess the microseismic response with anisotropic stresses and the use of numerical models for interpretation and characterization.
  8. Characterize the effects of multiple well completions in a fractured rock mass.
  9. Assess the types of hydraulic fracture monitoring including microseismic monitoring.

Course Content

Part 1: Geomechanics Fundamentals
Module 0. Introduction to Unconventional Geomechanics

  • A few words about Oilfield Geomechanics
  • What is geomechanics? Definitions, history, relevance

Modules 1 – 2. Principles of stress and strain with field stress measurements

  • Basic of stress-strain and Mohr circles – applications to natural fractures
  • Effective stress concepts, role of pore pressure
  • Field stress variations, structural effects
  • Stresses around boreholes
  • Stress determination

Module 3. Pore pressure evaluation

  • Basic concepts and causes of overpressure
  • Pore pressure analyses – Eaton, Bowers’, NCT, effective stress methods
  • Analysis workflow
  • Challenges in Unconventional, field examples

Modules 4 – 5. Mechanical rock behavior

  • Mechanical properties, elasticity, plasticity, poroelasticity, viscoelasticity
  • Failure in rocks, failure criteria
  • Influence of faults and fracture, anisotropy
  • Laboratory testing, measurements, interpretation
  • Use of logs for mechanical properties, calibration, correlations

Module 6. Geomechanical modeling and workflows

  • Concepts and tools
  • 1D, 2D and 3D models; when and where appropriate
  • Geomechanics workflows in Unconventionals

Part 2: Geomechanics for Unconventional Developments

Modules 7-8. Hydraulic fracturing fundamentals

  • Basic, objectives, parameters
  • Frac containment, net pressure
  • Injection testing, DFITs
  • Horizontal wells and perforating
  • Proppants – 100 mesh and proppant transport
  • Fracturing fluids
  • Role of natural fractures
  • Injection zone selection effects

Module 9. Stress Shadows for single frac, multi-stage and multi-well

  • Mechanics of stress shadows
  • Effect on multi stages and clusters
  • Multi-well stress shadows
  • Tip shear stresses, Modeling examples Module

10. Rock fabric characterization

  • Description and quantification of rock fabric attributes – cores
  • Mechanical behavior, hydraulic behavior, testing in unconventionals
  • Stresses – critically stress fractures and hydraulic conductivity
  • Geometry and spatial occurrence, DFN models
  • Examples of evaluation in unconventional plays

Module 11. Shale geomechanics

  • Unconventional shale plays – shale types – challenges, critical issues
  • Geological scenarios for completions
  • Geomechanics of interfaces – HF interaction with interfaces, effect of fracture toughness
  • Shale properties static and dynamics examples from different plays – elastic parameters, time dependency, frictional properties
  • Myths to debunk – brittleness, complexity, SRV and microseismic, sand volume per lateral length

Module 12. Hydraulic fractures (HFs) and natural fractures (NFs) with operational effects

  • HFs propagation with NFs – effect of NF orientation
  • Dual HF propagating in a fractured media
  • Pressure Diffusion – coupled effects – stimulation benefits
  • Interaction HF – NF – crossing rules
  • Influence of NF characteristics – Dense vs sparse DFN, stress anisotropy, NF connectivity, parametric studies, with modeling examples
  • Influence of operational parameters, effects of fluid viscosity, injection rates – injection time
  • Influence of the stress field and in-situ pore pressure on HF behavior
  • Microseismicity response with anisotropic stresses – dry and wet MS events. Effect of initial aperture of the NFs

Module 13. Depletion effects and refracs

  • Depletion effects on HFs, depletion and in situ stresses
  • Parent -child evaluations, cluster efficiency, drainage volume
  • Frac hits (fracture Driven Interactions -FDIs) – types
  • Microseismic depletion delineation, cube evaluations

Module 14. Multi-well completions

  • Zipper fracs, stress perturbations, induced shear around zipper fracs
  • Interaction of HFs, overlapping HFs, models
  • Zipper fracs stress shadows
  • Effect of multiple well completions in fractured rock mass – sheared fabric – friction angle effect, geometry of zipper fracs. Effect on fabric stimulation
  • Sheared length, pressure diffusion

Module 15. HF monitoring and models (extra session as time permits)

Temperature logs, strengths and weaknesses, procedures. Effect of wellbore and completion
RA logging procedures, strength and weaknesses, tracer applications
Microseismic monitoring – MS as a geomechanics issue. Events, field data, MS imaging, passive seismology, triggered or induced seismicity, array design, surface vs downhole, source mechanisms, SRV from MS and drainage volume
Tiltmeters- direct fracture monitoring, measurements, patterns, cases
DAS/DTS basics, production estimations, cluster efficiency, integrated analysis
HF Models – advanced models fundamentals, input data, 2D models, pseudo (planar) 3D, Cell/Grid based models lumped pseudo 3D, Fully 3D, HF reservoir simulator

An Introduction to Mudrock Reservoirs: Basin Setting, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Rock Properties (G042)

Tutor(s)

Jeff May: Geological Consultant and Affiliate Faculty, Colorado School of Mines

Overview

The evaluation of shale reservoirs presents a unique challenge: whereas some of the approaches applied are the same as for conventional reservoirs, many new methodologies and tools have been developed for the assessment of this unconventional resource. In this seminar, participants are exposed to the latest concepts of mudrock sedimentation and how it relates to reservoir properties. The development of mudrock successions, including depositional processes and stratigraphic cycles, is highlighted. Goals of the course include:

  • Providing practical techniques for assessing reservoir heterogeneity during play reconnaissance (‘data mining’) and regional evaluation (‘sweet spot’ mapping).
  • Interpreting and correlating well logs within a sequence-stratigraphic framework.
  • Learning what components are fundamental to core description and interpretation, including observations on composition, texture, sedimentary structures and fractures.
  • Developing an understanding of the factors that control reservoir quality: mineralogy, lithologic components, cements, fabric, fractures and pore systems. Methods used to investigate these rock properties also will be discussed.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 2-day classroom course comprising a mix of lectures (80%) and hands-on exercises (20%). 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 (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). A digital manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course. Some reading and several exercises are to be completed by participants off-line.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. Intended for all subsurface professionals involved in the evaluation of unconventional resources. Geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists and engineers who want to understand mudrock deposition relative to reservoir properties will benefit from the concepts and techniques presented. Participants should have a basic familiarity with resource plays. Some understanding of depositional processes and sequence stratigraphy is recommended.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Determine the key geologic parameters that affect the attributes of shale reservoirs.
  2. Identify the components of basin analysis required when scoping a new shale play.
  3. Integrate a variety of data types necessary to identify and map optimum drilling locations and targets.
  4. Evaluate the variety of depositional processes and changes in environmental conditions recorded in a shale succession and tie that information back to well log character.
  5. Assess the basic stratigraphic framework of shale reservoirs and understand how systematic vertical changes relate to fabric, composition, texture and, ultimately, reservoir quality.
  6. Interpret and correlate well logs utilizing a sequence stratigraphic framework.
  7. Understand the observations and methodology necessary when describing and interpreting mudrock cores.
  8. Define the key rock parameters that control reservoir quality and mechanical properties.
  9. Describe the latest methodologies of pore-scale imaging for shale evaluation.

Course Content

Introduction

  • Mudrock definition
  • Lithologic heterogeneity
  • Critical play element

Data mining (play reconnaissance)

  • Published literature
  • Existing production
  • Mud log shows and tests
  • Core, cuttings and outcrop samples

Regional evaluation (sweet spot identification)

  • Basin analysis
  • Isopach and isolith mapping
  • Rock quality mapping
  • Hydrocarbon saturation mapping
  • Structure mapping
  • Pressure compartments and thermal anomalies
  • Organic geochemistry
  • Geophysical attribute mapping

Stratigraphic framework

  • Basinal setting
  • Depositional processes
  • Organisms and organic matter
  • Stratigraphic cyclicity
  • Sequence stratigraphy and well log patterns
  • Regional correlations and variations

Core description

  • Mudrock classification
  • Composition and texture
  • Sedimentary structures and depositional processes
  • Fracture types and styles
  • Mechanical stratigraphy

Rock description (reservoir quality)

  • Mineralogy and lithologic components
  • Fabric
  • Pore systems
  • Cements
  • Fractures
  • Fluids

Exercises conducted during the course include:

  • Mowry Shale Sequence Stratigraphy – core interpretation and regional well log correlation
  • Niobrara Formation – well log sequence stratigraphy
  • Graneros and Greenhorn Formations – well log sequence stratigraphy

Progressive Deformation in the Arbuckle and Wichita Mountains: Implications for Mid-Continent and Resource Plays – A Field Seminar (G083)

Tutor(s)

Kevin J. Smart, David A. Ferrill, Adam J. Cawood: Southwest Research Institute

Overview

This field seminar will explore natural deformation in Paleozoic rocks in and around the Wichita and Arbuckle uplifts in southern Oklahoma. Investigating mechanical stratigraphy and the regional tectonic setting provides the context for understanding deformation features, such as joints, shear fractures, folds, faults and stylolites. Outcrop observations will be tied to the deformation conditions under which they developed, and related to the subsurface (cores, logs and stress data), to illustrate the critical importance of understanding deformation in the subsurface, including both pre-existing natural deformation and as analogs for deformation produced by induced hydraulic fracturing.

Duration and Logistics

A 4-day field course, comprising a mix of field exercises (85%) and classroom work (15%). The course will start in Lawton, Oklahoma, and end near Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Level and Audience

Advanced. The course is aimed at geoscientists, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers and production engineers working in mechanically layered, deformed rocks in Oklahoma or other relatively gently deformed sedimentary foreland basins. It will be of particular interest to any geoscientists, petrophysicists and engineers working in unconventional reservoirs, including those in the Anadarko Basin.

Exertion Level

This course requires a LOW exertion level. Fieldwork is in southern Oklahoma, where the climate can be variable according to the season. Transportation is by SUVs. Most driving is on black-top roads, and most outcrops are adjacent to roads or within inactive quarries with uneven ground, where long strenuous hikes are not needed to access the exposures.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Identify small-scale deformation features that are common in the SCOOP/STACK plays of the Anadarko basin and other unconventional reservoirs.
  2. Interpret stress conditions and stress evolution from small-scale deformation features.
  3. Characterize mechanical stratigraphy based on lithostratigraphy and rock strength information.
  4. Relate deformation style to tectonic setting of southern Oklahoma.
  5. Assess the role of mechanical stratigraphy, stress conditions and pre-existing deformation features on rock behavior, including fracture prediction in unconventional and conventional reservoirs.
  6. Consider, in general terms, the behavior of lithological units under different well completion strategies.
  7. Evaluate geomechanical issues for common petroleum and unconventional resource applications such as well design, borehole stability and hydraulic fracturing.

Course Content

The course will be primarily field-based with some initial classroom time. The course will explore outcrops in the Wichita and Arbuckle uplifts, and discuss relevance to deformation in and around the Anadarko Basin. The variety of rock types and the locations along the southwestern edge of the Anadarko Basin provide examples of the major tectonic influences and rock deformation responses, including progressive deformation that can inform interpretations of the subsurface hydrocarbon plays.

Draft Itinerary

Day 0

  • Travel to Lawton, Oklahoma.
  • Welcome lecture and safety brief.

Day 1

Field visit: Wichita Mountains

  • Introductory lectures covering basic concepts of faulting, fracturing and mechanical stratigraphy, and regional tectonic setting
  • Field trip to outcrops in and around the Wichita Mountains
  • Return to Lawton, Oklahoma

Day 2

Field visit: Slick Hills

  • Field trip to outcrops in the Slick Hills
  • Continue to Ardmore, Oklahoma

Day 3

Field visit: Arbuckle Mountains

  • Field trip to outcrops of Paleozoic strata in and around the Arbuckle Mountains, including Arbuckle anticline transect
  • Return to Ardmore, Oklahoma

Day 4

Field visit: Arbuckle Mountains

  • Field trip to outcrops of Paleozoic strata in and around the Arbuckle Mountains – explore 3-dimensionality of deformation, stress history and progressive deformation
  • Course wrap-up and departure

Engineering of Resource Plays for Technical Professionals (G003)

Tutor(s)

Yucel Akkutlu: Professor, Texas A&M University

Overview

This course presents the terminology, methodology and concepts of drilling, completion and reservoir engineering as applied to unconventional resource plays, including oil-rich shales, gas shales and coal-seam gas. It will cover the latest practices as well as discuss future directions in unconventional resource engineering. Case studies are used to illustrate particular challenges presented by these plays. The environmental impacts on air and water resources are considered. Participants will learn to become more effective members of multi-disciplinary resource evaluation teams by developing a solid understanding of appropriate engineering concepts and terminology.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 3-day course comprising a mix of lectures (70%), case studies (20%) and exercises (10%). 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: Five 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 5 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe), including a mix of lectures (70%), case studies (20%) and exercises (10%). A digital manual and hard-copy exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course.

Level and Audience

Intermediate. The course is designed for technical professionals and managers who want to understand the role of the engineer in resource play projects. In particular, geoscientists, petrophysicists and drilling, completion and stimulation engineers would benefit from the course.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Discuss aspects of reservoir, drilling, completion and stimulation engineering with engineering members of unconventional project teams.
  2. Contrast engineering approaches to conventional and unconventional projects.
  3. Assess resource estimates, production forecasts and economic evaluations for unconventional plays.
  4. Review the sampling procedures adopted by reservoir engineers.
  5. Predict the hydrocarbon phase change in reservoirs.
  6. Assess the demand for and disposal of water associated with fracturing and producing unconventional reservoirs.
  7. Assess the impact of unconventional projects on air quality.
  8. Discuss recent advances in the optimization of resource plays.

Course Content

Introduction

  • Overview of unconventional resources
  • Geological and geochemical considerations for resource shales

Drilling, completion and stimulation technologies

  • Horizontal well drilling
  • Multi-stage hydraulic fracturing
  • Micro-seismic monitoring

Sampling and laboratory measurements for shale

  • Sampling techniques and field measurements of fluid content
  • Porosity and pore size measurements
  • Permeability measurements
  • Storage and flow characteristics of resource shales
  • Pore size considerations for hydrocarbon storage and transport
  • Multi-phase flow in tight formations

Reservoir engineering

  • Hydrocarbon recovery from kerogen pores
  • Volumetric calculations for natural gas reservoirs
  • Material balance for natural gas reservoirs
  • Pressure transient regimes in hydraulically fractured horizontal wells
  • Rate-transient and pressure-transient models and their applications
  • Production history-marching and forecasting
  • Fracture Net Present Value (NPV) and Discounted Return on Investment (DROI) calculations
  • Decline curve analysis using Arp’s equation
  • Estimated ultimate recovery of production well

Future directions in unconventional resource engineering

  • New trends in drilling and completion technologies
  • Enhanced hydrocarbon recovery technologies for shale
  • Environmental considerations, including water resources management, groundwater protection and waste-water disposal

Applied Concepts of Natural Fractures: Mechanics and Characteristics in Outcrop and Core, New Mexico (G049)

Tutor(s)

John Lorenz and Scott Cooper: FractureStudies LLC 

Overview

Outcrops in central New Mexico offer excellent examples of natural fractures in a variety of structural settings and lithologies. They illustrate the mechanical and stratigraphic controls on the fracture systems that in turn control permeability in most conventional and unconventional reservoirs. A world-class example of permeability-reducing shear fractures (“deformation bands”) will be visited, occurring in fluvial sandstones of the Morrison Formation. The outcrops to be visited also show fractures associated with faulting, as well as the complications associated with reactivation of extension fractures in shear. An exposition of the authors’ 65-piece teaching collection of natural and induced fractures in core is part of the course, providing the chance to compare one-dimensional core fracture data with the three-dimensional data provided by outcrops.

A printed manual will be provided for each participant.

Duration and Logistics

3 days; a mix of classroom lectures (15%), field time (75%) and core/hand sample workshop (10%). 

The course begins and ends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Level and Audience

Advanced. This course is intended for geoscientists, reservoir and production engineers, and petrophysicists who need to characterize and understand fracture systems and their effects on reservoir permeability from core and outcrops; who need to be able to differentiate between natural and induced fractures in cores; and who would like to be able to predict the effects of lithology on fracturing. It is also for those who want to understand fracture permeability in relationship to the in situ stress system, the interaction of natural fractures with hydraulic stimulation fractures, and the important differences between extension and shear fractures in controlling individual fracture permeability and fracture network interconnectedness.

Exertion Level

This class requires a MODERATE exertion level. The fieldwork will involve walking up and down slopes over rough ground. There will be walks of up to 1.6km (1 mile) on most days, the most strenuous being an ascent (and descent) of 60m (200 ft) over rocky ground as part of a walk of 3km (2 miles). The elevation range is 1600-2200m (5300-7200 ft), which may lead to unexpected shortness of breath for some. The central New Mexico weather in the fall is cool-warm and dry, and often windy. Transport is by SUVs. Most driving is on black-top roads, but some areas are reached by gravel or dirt roads.  

Objectives

In this hands-on, application-based field trip you will learn to:

  1. Assess the origins of fractures.
  2. Understand characteristics and distributions of different types of natural fractures and their potential effects on reservoir permeability.
  3. Differentiate fractures by type, as well as predict what fracture types to expect in different structural domains and reservoirs, through discussion on the outcrop.
  4. Assess the interactions between natural fractures, in situ stresses and stimulation fractures.
  5. Appreciate the wide range of structures that fall under the basket term “fracture”, and recognize that different fracture types do not have the same effect on hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Course Content

Itinerary (Provisional)

Day 0

Arrive in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Group dinner, including:

  • Safety briefing
  • Overview
  • Introduction to local stratigraphic section

Overnight in Albuquerque.

Day 1

Classroom:

  • Field trip logistics
  • Fracture types
  • Introduction to fracture mechanics

Field: Outcrops east of Albuquerque – fractures in Paleozoic carbonates and sandstones.

Lunch and core viewing at the FractureStudies LLC hangar.

Field: Fracture associated with faults and folds.

Overnight in Albuquerque.

Day 2

Field:

  • Fractures in Mesozoic sandstones and shales in the vicinity of the normal and wrench faults and their associated fracture systems near San Ysidro, NM.
  • Conjugate and amalgamated deformation bands in the Morrison Formation.
  • Superimposed fracture systems in the Dakota Sandstone.
  • Fractures in the Mancos shale, fracture halos on faults and fractures in folded strata.

Overnight in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Day 3

Field:

  • Sheared extension fractures, deformation bands and faults in Mesozoic sandstones at Abiquiu Lake and along the Chimney Rock trail at Ghost Ranch.
  • Discuss fracturing across the San Juan basin as a result of north-south tectonic compression related to the San Juan uplift.

Overnight in Santa Fe.

Day 4

Depart for Albuquerque.

Working With Unconventional Petroleum Systems (G032)

Tutor(s)

Andy Pepper: Managing Director, This Is Petroleum, LLC

Overview

This course teaches how to use Petroleum Systems Analysis (regional geology, geochemistry and petroleum systems modeling) to evaluate unconventional/resource play reservoirs. The subject matter ranges from deposition of organic matter in the source rock (generation, expulsion, migration and accumulation processes leading to saturation of the reservoir), to the prediction of reservoir and produced fluid properties and value. This class will equip geologists and engineers with advanced capabilities to: identify, map and evaluate new plays; identify storage and production sweet spots in plays; and identify vertical/by-passed storage and production sweet spots to optimize landing zones in new and existing plays.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 5 days, a mix of lectures (75%) and quizzes/exercises (25%). 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: Five 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 5 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe), including a mix of lectures (75%) and quizzes/exercises (10%). A digital manual and hard-copy exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course.

Level and Audience

Advanced. Intended for exploration, exploitation and production geoscientists, reservoir and completion engineers and managers who need to understand how the petroleum system works to determine fluid saturation and composition in resource plays. A basic familiarity with resource plays is assumed.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand modern approaches to describing source rocks: their expulsion potential and distribution.
  2. Establish the link between organic matter and petroleum: the organofacies scheme and the geochemistry and composition of oil and gas.
  3. Link the burial and thermal histories of onshore/exhumed sedimentary basins to the temperature and pressure history of the source bed/reservoir.
  4. Understand how organic matter quality kinetics control petroleum volumes and compositions expelled from organic matter.
  5. Understand the roles of pressure and capillarity in creating an unconventional reservoir: that petroleum migration and accumulation are flip sides of the same coin, controlling reservoir saturation patterns.
  6. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of current core analysis techniques and use geochemical concepts to differentiate between potentially producible fluid vs immobile sorbed petroleum in organic-rich reservoirs.
  7. Identify sweet spots in well rate performance from a pressure and fluid perspective, and fluid prediction using advanced pyrolysis methods in well samples.
  8. Understand the properties of produced fluids that contribute to/detract from well stream value.

Course Content

This class uses modern and some all-new petroleum systems (geochemistry and thermal/fluid flow modeling) approaches, including modeling of petroleum saturation and composition in unconventional reservoirs. Prior knowledge of geochemistry and basin modeling is not required – although the class is advanced it contains the foundational information needed for a geoscientist or engineer to understand the “unconventional” petroleum system, building upon geology and reservoir engineering first principles. The class is primarily geological but is intended also to help reservoir engineers seeking to understand the fundamentals of unconventional reservoir performance.

Topics

Charge: Source Rock Potential – “The Feedstock”

  • Measurements of organic richness and potential.
  • How organic matter (OM) in source rocks is deposited: variations in distribution, thickness, organic carbon content and organic matter type (organofacies).
  • How source rock volumetric potential and system gas/oil potential can be quantified (Ultimate Expellable Potential).

Charge: “Making the Petroleum”

  • Modeling generation of petroleum from, and sorption in, OM.
  • Understanding thermal stress levels for oil and gas generation from, and cracking of sorbed oil to gas in, OM.
  • Prediction of petroleum composition expelled from OM – gas-oil ratio (GOR).

Charge: “Moving the Petroleum”

  • Sorbed vs fluid petroleum phases in OM-rich rocks.
  • Petroleum fluid phase behavior.
  • Migration/saturation of the fluid phase within, and adjacent to, the source bed.
  • Migration into the conventional fluid system – the “flip side” of unconventional reservoir storage.

Trap: Seal and Column “Building the Petroleum Saturation”

  • Controls on pressure evolution in sedimentary basins.
  • Controls on saturation in reservoir rocks: hydrodynamics, buoyancy, capillary entry pressure and interfacial tension.
  • Recognizing the unconventional reservoir as a petroleum system: source, reservoir and seal.
  • Capillary pressure and architecture of saturation patterns in unconventional reservoirs.

Reservoir: Storage “Storing the Petroleum”

  • “Unconventional” core measurements of porosity and saturation – effects of Dean-Stark cleaning.
  • Measuring and modeling sorbed vs mobile fluid phase saturations.
  • Profiles of fluid phase saturation in “classic” unconventional petroleum plays.
  • Fluid phase properties: predicting GOR and Formation Volume Factor.
  • Petroleum-in-Place sweet-spot logging and mapping – Permian Basin Wolfcamp example.

Reservoir: Deliverability “Producing the Petroleum”

  • Pressure – a key limitation on delta-P.
  • Modeling fluid viscosity in unconventional reservoir fluids.
  • Petroleum deliverability/rate sweet-spot logging and mapping – Permian Basin Wolfcamp example.

Product: “Valuing the Petroleum”

  • Properties of the produced liquid stream that affect sales value.
  • Properties of the produced gas stream that affect sales value.

Facies, Sequence Stratigraphy and Reservoir Characteristics of Cretaceous Resource Plays, Powder River Basin, Wyoming (G031)

Tutor(s)

Edmund R. “Gus” Gustason: Geoscience Advisor, Enerplus Resources

Richard Bottjer: President, Coal Creek Resources; Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Overview

This course examines two world-class Cretaceous source rock intervals and their interfingering clastic wedges around the margins of Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to illustrate how accurate outcrop descriptions provide the best opportunity to improve our ability to make realistic reservoir interpretations. Outcrops allow us to observe facies, facies architecture, lateral continuity of facies and the nature of their bounding surfaces. These observations are important to incorporate into core descriptions and then into correlating and mapping in the subsurface. Resultant modeling can reduce uncertainty and improve our understanding of facies associations, as well as the controls on porosity and permeability. Integration of the techniques described has consistently provided new interpretations that have led to new field discoveries and/or identification of stratigraphic compartments within existing fields.

A printed manual will be provided for each participant.

Duration and Logistics

5 days; field time (90%) supported by classroom lectures (10%).

The course begins and ends in Casper, Wyoming.

Level and Audience

Advanced. This course is intended for geoscientists, reservoir and production engineers, and petrophysicists who work unconventional plays in the Powder River Basin. The learnings and workflows are applicable to individuals working other resource plays.

This field course compliments GeoLogica course G011 – Core Description for Reservoir Characterization of Conventional and Resource Plays. Although, taking G011 is not a prerequisite for attending G031.

Exertion Level

This class requires a MODERATE exertion level. Hikes are 4.8–8km (3–5 miles) across irregular terrain, scrambling up shale slopes and ledges of sandstone outcrops. The elevation of the Powder River Basin outcrops ranges from 1500–1800m (5000–6000 ft) and the climate is considered semi-arid. Temperatures in August range from 13–32°C (55–90°F). Most driving is on black-top roads, but some outcrops are reached via well-marked dirt roads.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Examine outcrops of alluvial plain, coastal plain, delta plain, offshore, shelf and distal basin hemipelagic source rocks within a sequence stratigraphic framework of Cretaceous strata along the margins of the Powder River Basin.
  2. Describe grain size, composition, sedimentary structures and biogenic structures of fine-grained source rocks of the Mowry Shale and Niobrara Formation.
  3. Evaluate physical parameters (e.g. TOC, porosity, PhiH, permeability, stiffness or brittleness, fractures, etc.) that define a successful tight oil play within the Mowry Shale and Niobrara Formation.
  4. Describe facies, facies architecture (grain size, composition, sedimentary structures and biogenic structures), facies associations of coastal plain, strand plain, delta plain, nearshore and shelf deposits of two major clastic wedges that prograded into the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway: Frontier (Wall Creek and Turner) and Mesaverde (Shannon, Sussex, Parkman, and Teapot).
  5. Define and correlate parasequencesparasequence sets and sequences across the Powder River Basin (using outcrop sections and well logs) and predict where continuous oil accumulations or resource plays may occur within the basin. 

Course Content

Itinerary (Provisional)

Day 0

  • Travel to Casper, Wyoming.
  • Overnight in Casper.

Day 1

  • Visit outcrops of the Lower Cretaceous Mowry Shale and Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Formation in Alcova area.
  • Overnight in Casper.

Day 2

  • Visit outcrops of the Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation in the Casper Arch.
  • Overnight in Casper.

Day 3

  • Visit outcrops of the Upper Cretaceous Shannon Sandstone and Sussex Sandstone, Parkman Sandstone and Teapot Sandstone, Salt Creek Anticline and Teapot Dome area.
  • Overnight in Casper.

Day 4

  • Visit outcrops of Frontier (Wall Creek-Turner), Niobrara Formation and lower Pierre Shale in the Douglas and Old Woman Anticline areas.
  • Overnight in Newcastle, Wyoming.

Day 5

  • Visit outcrops of the Mowry Shale, Belle Fourche Shale (distal Frontier clastic wedge), Turner Sandy Member of the Carlile Shale, Niobrara Formation and lower Pierre Shale (distal Mesaverde clastic wedge), along the eastern margin of the Powder River Basin (Black Hills).
  • Course wrap-up.

Faulting, Fracturing and Mechanical Stratigraphy Field Seminar (G022)

Tutor(s)

David Ferrill: Institute Scientist, Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute

Kevin Smart: Manager, Earth Science Section, Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute

Overview

Superb exposures of Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks in central and west Texas provide the opportunity to examine factors that influence the style and intensity of faulting, folding and fracture development, as well as the relationship between fracture spacing and mechanical layering. The outcrops offer analogs for deformation in both carbonate reservoirs and shale resource plays worldwide. The exposures range from map to fault block scale and provide the opportunity to explore the range of depositional facies and diverse tectonic regimes that influence the style and intensity of faulting, folding and fracture networks.

Duration and Logistics

A 6-day field course, comprising a mix of classroom lectures (5%), field lectures (65%) and field exercises (30%). The course begins and ends in San Antonio, Texas. A printed manual will be provided for each participant.

Level and Audience

Advanced. This course is intended for geoscientists, reservoir and production engineers, and petrophysicists who work with layered faulted and fractured reservoirs. It should be of particular interest to individuals working in unconventional or self-sourced plays (e.g. Eagle Ford, Austin Chalk). Basic familiarity with structural geology is expected of all participants.

Exertion Level

This class requires a MODERATE exertion level. Fieldwork is in the Hill Country near San Antonio where conditions are typically warm-hot and humid – the daily temperature range in fall is 15–30°C (60–85°F) – and in west Texas, where the climate is warm-hot and dry – the daily temperature range in fall is 7–27°C (45–80°F). Participants will be taking short to moderate hikes (less than 3.2km/2 miles) over flat to hilly terrain with a maximum elevation change of 200m (660 ft). Transport is by SUVs and most driving is on black-top roads. Some outcrops are reached via well-marked dirt roads.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Perform structural interpretations using the basic concepts of faulting, fracturing and mechanical stratigraphy.
  2. Assess the role of mechanical stratigraphy and stress conditions on fracture and fault formation in sedimentary strata.
  3. Evaluate deformation mechanisms that operate in fault zones and the relationship between faulting and associated folding.
  4. Determine how complex structures control hydrocarbon migration and trapping in carbonate petroleum provinces.
  5. Effectively interpret many of the fault system features they will encounter on seismic and well data.
  6. Determine the controls on regional tectonic setting, stratigraphy and development in the areas they work.
  7. Assess local structural styles and relate deformation features to mechanical stratigraphy and structural position.

Course Content

Itinerary (Provisional)

Day 0
Travel to San Antonio, Texas.

Day 1
Field visit: Eagle Ford Formation

  • Morning lectures on regional geology and basic concepts of faulting, fracturing and mechanical stratigraphy
  • Examine outcrops of Cretaceous carbonate and shale strata (including the Eagle Ford Formation) in the Balcones fault system

Overnight in San Antonio.

Day 2
Field visit: Canyon Lake Gorge

  • Visit Canyon Lake Gorge to study the Hidden Valley fault, a seismic-scale normal fault with world-class exposure of subseismic-scale fault zone deformation features

Overnight in San Antonio.

Day 3
Drive to Marathon, Texas, with field stops en route.
Field visits: Eagle Ford Formation, Boquillas Formation, Buda Formation and Austin Chalk

  • Examine structural style in different facies and mechanical units in outcrops of the Eagle Ford Formation and equivalent Boquillas Formation and underlying Buda Formation and overlying Austin Chalk
  • Contractional folding west of Del Rio in outcrops of the Eagle Ford/Boquillas formations and overlying and underlying units and relationship of fracturing to regional structural setting, stress field and mechanical stratigraphy
  • Marathon fold-thrust belt – intensely folded and thrusted Paleozoic strata exposed as a window through the Cretaceous cover west of Sanderson

Overnight in Marathon.

Day 4
Drive to Big Bend National Park, Texas, with field stops en route.
Field visits: Simpson Springs, East Bourland Mountain, Black Gap Wildlife Management area and Persimmon Gap

  • Examine Marathon fold-thrust belt structures (Simpson Springs/East Bourland Mountain anticlinorium/synclinorium pair)
  • Visit Black Gap Wildlife Management area to study the Big Brushy Canyon monocline, Heath Canyon relay ramp and Stillwell Canyon relay ramp developed in the Cretaceous carbonate and shale section
  • View contractional folding at Persimmon Gap

Overnight in Big Bend National Park.

Day 5
Field visit: Big Bend National Park

  • Study contractional folding, thrust faulting, extensional faulting and extensional fracturing in the Eagle Ford equivalent Boquillas Formation at Ernst Tinaja
  • Study normal fault relay ramp development at Cuesta Carlota, and strike-slip and normal faulting in Cretaceous limestones at Boquillas Canyon

Overnight in Big Bend National Park.

Day 6
Drive to San Antonio with field stops en route.
Field visit: Santa Elena Canyon

  • Santa Elena Canyon normal fault zone and footwall analysis in Big Bend National Park.

Overnight in San Antonio.

Day 7
Depart from San Antonio.

Core Facies Analysis of Conventional and Resource Plays: Lessons from the Mowry and Niobrara Petroleum Systems, Powder River Basin (G011)

Tutor(s)

Edmund R. ‘Gus’ Gustason: Geoscience Advisor, Enerplus Resources

Richard Bottjer: President, Coal Creek Resources; Research Associate, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Overview

This core-based facies analysis course will use the petroleum system of the prolific Powder River Basin to develop realistic depositional models and sequence stratigraphic frameworks that can be used to better predict the extent and continuity of unconventional resources. Demonstrations will introduce participants to core handling, description and data integration techniques. Lectures and exercises will re-familiarize participants with lithofacies and facies associations and will describe applications of core-facies analysis to reservoir characterization of siliceous and calcareous mudstones, muddy sandstones and sandstones. Cores will be from the Powder River Basin, but learnings may be applied to resource plays in other basins.

Duration and Logistics

A 5-day classroom course comprising a mix of classroom lectures (25%) and core description exercises (75%) at the USGS Core Research Center, Lakewood, CO. The manual will be provided in digital format and you will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to the course.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. This course is intended for entry-level through mid-career geoscientists, reservoir engineers and petrophysicists who want to extract maximum value from cores, in order to improve exploration play analysis and reservoir characterization of both conventional and unconventional resources. Participants should have a basic knowledge of clastic and carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Identify the important physical and biological parameters of core, including sedimentary structures, biogenic structures, significant surfaces and diagenetic textures. We will examine siliceous and calcareous mudstones, muddy sandstones and sandstones.
  2. Calibrate core descriptions with wireline log data.
  3. Evaluate source rock potential of mudstones using elemental chemistry data (XRF), TOC, RockEval (Vre) and vitrinite reflectance (Vro) data.
  4. Integrate routine core analysis and/or unconventional shale and tight rock analysis with core descriptions to better understand the controls on porosity and permeability.
  5. Identify basic structural features in cores, such as faults and fractures, and relate them to mechanical stratigraphy, in situ stresses and borehole stability issues.
  6. Develop a sequence stratigraphic framework from core descriptions and wireline log data.
  7. Compare reservoir characteristics with production performance to identify target zones for horizontal well placement.
  8. Discretize core descriptions for core-to-log facies analysis and reservoir modelling input.

Course Content

The Powder River Basin contains two world-class source rocks: the Lower Cretaceous Mowry Shale and the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Formation. Together they have generated as much as 20 BBO. Basin-margin structures have produced only 1,300 MMBO and 1 TCFG, and conventional and unconventional reservoirs have produced only 1,000 MMBO and 2 TCFG. Much of that 20 BBO remains trapped within unconventional resource plays, such as the tight oil sandstones of the Frontier, Turner, Shannon, Sussex and Parkman formations and the source rocks themselves.

This core-based, facies analysis course provides the foundation for developing realistic depositional models and sequence stratigraphic frameworks that can be used to better predict the extent and continuity of these unconventional resources. Core-based facies analyses of conventional oil and gas reservoirs have led to the successful development of unconventional resource plays in adjacent areas. Core-based sequence stratigraphic evaluations have consistently provided new interpretations that have led to new field discoveries and/or identification of stratigraphic compartments within existing fields. Participants on this course will learn core description techniques and sequence stratigraphic workflows to characterize reservoirs from siliciclastic and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic environments. Core examples are from conventional and unconventional resource plays and include delta plain, shoreline, shelf and offshore marine environments.

Day 1

  • Introduction to coring, core handling and core description basics
  • Introduction to the Mowry petroleum system
  • Examples: Lower Cretaceous Thermopolis (Skull Creek) and Mowry Shale

Day 2

  • Introduction to deltaic, shoreline and valley fill depositional systems
  • Examples: Fall River Formation and Muddy Sandstone

Day 3

  • Introduction to the Niobrara petroleum system
  • Example: Niobrara Formation

Day 4

  • Introduction to shoreline, nearshore and shelf depositional systems
  • Examples: Shelf sandstone deposits of the Wall Creek Member of the Frontier Formation and Turner Sandy Member of the Carlile Formation

Day 5

  • Examples: Sussex Sandstone and Parkman Sandstone
  • Course wrap-up