Technology Manager, Oil & Gas
U.S. Department of Energy, NETL
09:15 - 09:45
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
T2.3 DOE Targets Improvement of Unconventional Resource Technologies Through Field Laboratories
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with natural gas producers, academic researchers, and technology developers to discover ways to improve the effectiveness of shale gas well completions and increase ultimate recovery. Field experiments being carried out at locations across multiple basins are providing a wealth of scientific data that is being analyzed to provide play-specific insights on hydraulically fractured well completion designs, reservoir fluid/fracturing fluid interactions, and environmental impact reduction. Among the portfolio of field projects currently underway are two focused on natural gas plays (Marcellus Shale and the Lower Huron Shale) and four focused on gas rich oil plays (Permian and Delaware Basins Wolfcamp, Eagle Ford, and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale). One field laboratory, the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL), has been a collaborative field site over a six-year time frame. Operator Northeast Natural Energy, West Virginia University and others teamed with DOE to carry out extensive analysis of core (whole and sidewall), extensive open-hole logging suites (in both vertical and horizontal test wells), fiber optic data, production logs, and micro-seismic data. Public analysis of such a complete data set from a single site has enabled a better understanding of the Marcellus shale reservoir system in the area. The collection and analysis of detailed environmental data has proven that the application of a “best practices” approach enables safe and efficient shale gas development while minimizing environmental impacts. Further, the analysis of an engineered well completion design has shown a 20% production increase compared to standard completion techniques. EUR for future wells could be ~10% to 20% greater if operators can exploit the technological advantages gained through the project. At the Hydraulic Fracturing Test Sites I and II in the Permian and Delaware Basins, work carried out by DOE together with Gas Technology Institute, Laredo Petroleum and others has revealed new insights into how best to complete multiple stacked Wolfcamp formation intervals. Extensive data were collected and analyzed, including core from a slant core well drilled through stimulated rock volume. These field laboratory test sites are continuing to provide new research results as the comprehensive data sets are fully analyzed by team members, and new projects undertaken in early 2019 are expected to provide even more valuable findings to improve unconventional resource development decision-making.