Shale Gas Prospectivity Case Study: Conasauga Shale, Black Warrior Basin, Alabama, USA

19 May, 2011
Who Should Attend
This e-symposium is ideal for geologists, engineers, geo-techs, geophysicists, geochemists, and other team members involved in Shale Gas exploration and production.
Course Content

This e-symposium presents and discusses the results of laboratory tests and research relating to determining shale prospectivity in general, and specifically in the Black Warrior Basin, Alabama. Conasauga Shale and Gas samples were analyzed and the results are presented here, along with general conclusions and findings relating to determinants of economic shale gas plays.

An assessment of the Shale Gas Prospectivity of 10 wells located in Saint Clair County, Black Warrior Basin, Alabama (Table 1 and Figure 1), has been done based on Petroleum Geochemistry analyses. Analyses for gas composition as well as for, deuterium and carbon isotopes of C1 (methane) through to C6+ (hexane) and on carbon dioxide were run on five gas samples. Total organic carbon (TOC, LECO®), and programmed pyrolysis (SR-Analyzer™) was measured on three hundred and thirty nine (339) samples, while organic petrology with measured vitrinite reflectance (Ro) was run on eighteen (18) samples. All the samples that were analyzed were from the Conasauga Formation.

Drilled intervals that encountered gas occurrences were classified as to whether they contained poor, moderate or high gas concentrations. Similarly, distinctions between dry and wet gas bearing intervals were made through application of the Haworth et al (1985) gas wetness and light-to-heavy ratios to the carbon isotope measurements which were also used to obtain an indication of the maturity of the gases. Charts that were developed by Weatherford Laboratories after Schoell, 1983, enabled differentiation between biogenic and thermogenic origins of the gases encountered in the Conasauga Shale penetrated in the sampled wells, together with the discrimination of oil associated and non-associated gas types.

Out of all the 10 wells for which samples were analyzed in this study, only one well was developed for commercial gas production. The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the organic richness, kerogen type, maturity, gas composition, carbon and deuterium isotope values of the commercially produced gas interval are unique and should be considered as being the template for replicating successful exploration of commercially producible gas in the Conasauga Shale Formation. A comparison of the isotopic measurements of this commercially produced Conasauga Shale gas with those of gases recovered from three other basins located in the USA further supports this conclusion.

This presentation presents the results of research by the following team: Albert Maende, Jack C. Pashin, Richard J. Drozd and Paul R. Walker.

Structure of the E-Symposium

Each e-symposium consists of one-hour live e-symposium, along with material for one full day of independent study. The live portion will be followed by a full day of independent study (not a live event). The one-hour live e-symposium can be accessed from any computer anywhere in the world using a high-speed internet connection. After the event is over, you will receive via email information about accessing the asynchronous segment (not live) which consists of your independent study materials, to be accessed and studied at any time. You will be able to email responses to the readings, along with your study question answers for CEU credit (if you sign up for the extended package).

Recording of original webinar, packet of independent study reading materials, PDF of original PowerPoint presentation by FTP download. (Original presentation date: May 19, 2011.) Some materials will also sent by e-mail.

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Nonmember Tuition without CEU
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Student Tuition without CEU
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01 January, 9999
Member Tuition with CEU
Expires on
01 January, 9999
Nonmember Tuition with CEU
Expires on
01 January, 9999
Student Tuition with CEU

One low price for either AAPG members or non-members on this event! Expanded package for CEU credit is $100. Special Student pricing: $25 for webinar only; $35 for expanded package.


Albert Maende Weatherford Laboratories
Susan Susan Nash, Ph.D. Director of Education and Professional Development +1 918 560 2604
Debbi Debbi Boonstra Education Manager +1 918 560-2630

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