Course will be held via Zoom: 19–22 October 2020, 7:00 pm–9:30 pm (CDT)
Unconventional reservoirs of the 21st Century are those reservoirs where industry commonly alters the permeability of the reservoir by fracing and/or the stimulated pore-rock volume of the reservoir by horizontal drilling.
Over the last 30 years, the utilization of these completion techniques has revolutionized the petroleum industry and vaulted the United States into being the largest Oil, as well as Natural Gas producer in the world.
The common (mis) perception to many is that unconventional reservoirs are benign homogenous blobs, and that all you need to know is the maturity and thickness of your reservoir. The unfortunate reality is that if your unconventional reservoirs are thin or absent; if product does not match the predicted maturity; or if your reservoirs produce far more water then hydrocarbons, even the best reservoir engineer can’t save the day. When any or all of things happen, the realization then occurs to management that geoscientists also need to be invited to the unconventional party. From a geologic perspective, not all unconventional reservoirs are cut from the same cloth.
Early (pre-2010) exploitation was mainly gas from source rock plays, where the reservoir was also a source rock. More recent (post-2010) exploitation was mainly oil from tight rock plays, where the reservoir was not a source rock and hydrocarbons migrated into the reservoirs, and maturity of the product often fails to match predictive product type.
Needless to say, each of these play type has its own risk elements. What they do have in common, however, is that most unconventional reservoirs were deposited on the floors, and/or along the shoreline profiles, of shallow epicontinental seaways that transgressed and regressed across the North American craton hundreds of times during the Phanerozoic.
Between these depositional cycles, and the depositional sequences they produced, sequence boundaries, produced by relative sea-level falls: 1) shaped and modified inherited basin physiography; 2) truncated and modified primary depositional profiles and reservoir distributions: and 3) controlled primary distributions of these reservoirs. Furthermore, most of these unconventional reservoirs span millions to tens of millions of years, and contain multiple depositional sequences, often, with just one be the preferred zone of choice.
So being able to explain and predict the depositional environments; reservoir distributions, thickness, and trends; as well as the sweet spots for each play within a chrono-stratigraphic is the key first step on the path of successful exploitation or billion-dollar write-offs. It’s your choice!
Why This Course Stands Out
This course provides a unique sequence stratigraphic perspective to being able to explain and predict the depositional environments, distributions, and thickness variations of unconventional reservoirs.
- Carbonate and Siliciclastic Depositional Systems
- The depositional and tectonic setting of source rocks in the geologic record
- Sequence Stratigraphic Concepts
- Sea Level Variations over the Phanerozoic
- Play fairway analysis
- Case studies on sequence stratigraphic controls on unconventional reservoir distributions