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
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