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Technical Paper: Production Forecasting for Shale Gas Exploration Prospects Based on Statistical Analysis and Reservoir Simulation

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 152639
Presentation Date: 2012
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Abstract

Shale gas exploration and production is still in its infancy. Information is scarce and flow monitoring is usually absent, but many studies aiming to understand gas shale reservoir behavior and to optimize its exploitation are now being developed. However, the understanding of fluid flow and transportation mechanisms in shales, given their micropore particular matrix structure coupled to induced fractures, is still under debate.

Several shale gas exploration projects are currently underway in diverse regions of Europe and Africa. The current lack of understanding of the main elements controlling well productivity, and the limitations of the available tools to correctly characterize the reservoir and forecast production from this type of well, make it difficult to predict the likely commercial value of a project. This value is controlled by drilling costs and the associated number of wells to develop a play, and the production returns that each of these wells may deliver.

The purpose of the work presented in this paper was to generate, based on statistical analysis of major shale gas basins in the USA, a synthetic reservoir simulation model that can represent shale gas wells and be used for forecasting purposes in exploration areas with limited available information. Such a prediction is mainly based on the accurate identification of parameters that have the greatest impact on production, either reservoir parameters or operational/controlled parameters, so that the production profiles may be predicted and controlled parameters optimized.

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