Contributors: Ross Clark, Michael Abrams, Joe Curiale
Concepts and technologies developed for liquid-rich unconventional plays in North America are on the verge of being exported worldwide. An “A list” of geoscientists from Canada, Europe and the United States are joining forces with AAPG Canada Region to offer GTW Canada, Nov. 3-5 in Vancouver, B.C.
Liquid-rich unconventional petroleum systems, defined as “fine-grained rock acting as both hydrocarbon source and reservoir, or a low permeability reservoir with inter-bedded or juxtaposed organic-rich shale with liquid hydrocarbon potential,” have become significant worldwide exploration targets.
Understanding the hydrocarbon charge system (source, maturity, hydrocarbon phase, burial history and retention) and production capabilities (rock properties, flow rates and resource potential) are critical for a liquid-rich unconventional play to be technically and economically successful.
Today, when it is particularly critical to address and improve our current understanding of these key plays, AAPG’s novel GTW format of interdisciplinary presentation and discussion offers an environment to discuss, debate and share knowledge.
GTW Canada will offer 16 invited presentations divided across four oral sessions. Each oral session will be followed by discussion, with a focus on “where we are headed.”
GTW Canada organizers are actively soliciting poster abstracts for the event. Poster sessions will be on display throughout the workshop, and poster presenters will be given time on the program to introduce their poster to the entire GTW audience. Poster sessions will highlight several additional aspects of the workshop theme, including commercial technologies available across the disciplines.
♦ The four principal workshop sessions will begin with presentations on the development of liquid-rich unconventional reservoirs, with a focus on qualifying key reservoir engineering elements of an unconventional oil play.
Presentations will include specific data needed to rank prospects in terms of importance, early development assessment of an unconventional play and evaluating reservoir fluid properties required for low permeability oil reservoir analysis.
♦ A session on liquid-rich source units follows, with a focus on specific organic and inorganic characteristics of liquid-rich plays, plus source rock case studies and geochemical characteristics.
♦ The third session, on analytical and upcoming technologies, presents current and future analytical methods used to assist the evaluation of liquid-rich unconventional plays.
Presentations will include an overview of current approaches, discussions of microstructure and the ongoing concerns over porosity development, and applications of organic petrography.
♦ The final session will focus on worldwide case studies of successful liquid-rich plays, and will include presentations focusing on specific active oil rich plays, including the Eagle Ford, Niobrara, Utica and Duvernay.
Canada’s Hot Activity
Excitement and global attention continues to build around the economic potential of Canada’s liquid-rich unconventional resource plays. To date more than $2.5 billion has been spent on land in and around the two play areas – one northern play area near Kaybob, the other just south of Pembina.
Among the 17 different operators that have licensed horizontal wells, Shell is most active with 17 wells, and ExxonMobil is next with 15 wells. Shell’s activity appears mostly in the northern play area, but has two wells in the southern play area; ExxonMobil is only in the northern play after buying Celtic Exploration.
One of the hottest liquid-rich unconventional shale plays, the Duvernay, has seen more than 100 horizontal wells licensed since the play’s inception approximately 30 months ago. As of this writing, there are more than 40 wells currently on production from the Duvernay.
Although production data is publicly available, interpreting the early production history of the wells is difficult for numerous reasons. Provincially reported liquid yields for C3+ vary from 40 bbls/mmcf to over 110 bbls/mmcf with operators reporting yields of up to 400 bbls/mmcf.
Production from a few wells, however, stands out. One, the Trilogy HZ Kaybob 3-13-60-20 (W5), is producing in excess of 800 mmcf and 70,000 barrels of liquids in about a year. Another is a recent Encana well announced April 24, 2013 with IP30 rates of 4 mmcf and 1,400 bbls per day.
With these results, the play has become one of the most exciting high-liquids-yield shale gas plays in North America.
Data interpretation is one of many challenges that GTW Canada conveners, presenters and participants alike will attempt to crack during the 2 1/2-day workshop. Registration, hotel room reservations and full program details are available at www.aapg.org/gtw/2013/vancouver.