Enhancing oil and gas shale production

It’s vital to be able to measure the amount of gas, oil and water stage production when it comes to exploration for the natural resource – and this can only be achieved through advanced technology. This inexpensive technology provides confirmation that a wellbore is open to flow, identifies and quantifies stage flow contribution of each phase, and provides measurement of drainage area connectivity – simply by adding small amounts of unique chemical tracers to each stage’s stimulation fluid.

It’s important to understand stage production independently due to the correlation that is shown between zonal productivity and the position of the wellbore area of where drilling will commence. Using this knowledge, future well development plans can be adjusted with confidence to ensure that any changes made, will result in enhanced ultimate hydrocarbon recovery.

Wellbore can be a difficult process, and finding the right area to drill and stimulate a well can be challenging, however a range of surveillance equipment can be used to make the decision easier. These include Seismic, Micro-Seismic, Core, and multiple specialist log data sets. Historically, it has been difficult to place faith in surveillance data to vary future drilling or stimulation activities. At best, there was no confirmation that recovery would improve if the data was used to change the program design. Or worse still, one data set was inconsistent with another, leaving the operator unsure which to believe. Tracerco technology offers a method to prove the accuracy of these measurements, providing operators with confidence when planning future well and field development.

When the project is about to go ahead, using a Gamma Ray heat map will help determine different decisions – with the map turning red if the well is drilled below the toe stage, often referred to as the target zone and blue when it hits the middle stage. These GR observations support geological expectations.

Cumulative gas that is produced during the wellbore drilling is signalled by a red colour, when the colour is blue it means that water production is in motion. When organisations drill outside of zone low (toe stages), it commonly resulted in reduced gas production and increased water production. Drilling out of zone high (middle stages) was not detrimental. These types of stages show effective hydrocarbon production without suffering from increased water. Armed with this knowledge and by incorporating real time GR monitoring during drilling, operators become better positioned to efficiently complete future wells in the field and remain in the more productive rock.

When it comes to offset wells that have been created above a parent well, higher hydrocarbon production was linked. Also note the increased production from stages in the centre section of the horizontals that was believed to result from accessing rock, not previously produced by the parent well.

A popular technology used is the Tracerco frac tracer which can help identify stages of wellbore production. Using this knowledge, the operator can evaluate drilling, stimulation, and production decisions and extract the full benefit of pre-completion seismic and geophysical diagnostics (seismic, log, micro seismic, landing zone, etc.) to ensure enhanced ultimate hydrocarbon recovery.

Tracerco,who specialise in waterflood and injection gas flow monitoring have provided a more detailed report, with presentation of Gamma Ray (GR) graphs, click here.