Traditional methods and techniques for log data interpretation that have been successfully used for conventional reservoirs are not applicable to shale plays, so operators have been developing shale deposits with limited data, essentially blindfolded. As a result, the focus has shifted to cost control and drilling efficiency. The popular ‘factory drilling’ or ‘geometric’ approaches would be ideal for homogeneous formations, but as is well known, shale plays are very inhomogeneous vertically and laterally. These approaches reduce the cost of drilling a single well, but increase overall development costs and environmental impact because they result in drilling and fracking a large number of low producing wells and zones. Fracking rocks with high brittleness reduces the cost of completion, but often misses the highest producing formations.

ShaleVision™ changes the paradigm by identifying good and bad zones, allowing operators to focus on developing only the  highest producing wells. It provides shale operators with the locations of the highest volumes of movable hydrocarbons that previously had only been visible for those rare wells with special core or cuttings analyses. The information ShaleVision™ provides can lead to tenfold increases in production with twice or three times the recovery efficiency.

ShaleVision™ uses advanced formation evaluation techniques to generate a proprietary Production Profile that shows predicted production in barrels per day as well as brittleness along the entire well. The input data for this technology can be limited to only standard open-hole log data: gamma ray, resistivity, neutron and density porosity.

Adjusting the coefficients of the basic equation for calculating Production Profiles for various reservoirs (calibration) enhances the accuracy of predictions. Data for calibration include open-hole log data, fracking intervals and production history. Because of the nature of the technology, more calibration data result in more accurate interpretation. Each new well contributes to the tuning of the model, so that each subsequent well is processed more accurately than the previous one.

A Production Profile for a vertical well allows identification of the highest producing formations and fracking zones. Production Profiles for a group of vertical wells allow mapping of the best spots and identification of the best locations and trajectories of horizontal wells. ShaleVision™ removes the blindfolds.

The case study demonstrates that the combination of data from drilling vertical wells and horizontal wells generates much more profit for the operator than blindly drilling horizontal wells with limited information about rocks.


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