Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Shale Gas Related Abstracts

11 Defining Unconventional Hydrocarbon Parameter Using Shale Play Concept

Authors: Rudi Ryacudu, Edi Artono, Gema Wahyudi Purnama


Oil and gas consumption in Indonesia is currently on the rise due to its nation economic improvement. Unfortunately, Indonesia’s domestic oil production cannot meet it’s own consumption and Indonesia has lost its status as Oil and Gas exporter. Even worse, our conventional oil and gas reserve is declining. Unwilling to give up, the government of Indonesia has taken measures to invite investors to invest in domestic oil and gas exploration to find new potential reserve and ultimately increase production. Yet, it has not bear any fruit. Indonesia has taken steps now to explore new unconventional oil and gas play including Shale Gas, Shale Oil and Tight Sands to increase domestic production. These new plays require definite parameters to differentiate each concept. The purpose of this paper is to provide ways in defining unconventional hydrocarbon reservoir parameters in Shale Gas, Shale Oil and Tight Sands. The parameters would serve as an initial baseline for users to perform analysis of unconventional hydrocarbon plays. Some of the on going concerns or question to be answered in regards to unconventional hydrocarbon plays includes: 1. The TOC number, 2. Has it been well “cooked” and become a hydrocarbon, 3. What are the permeability and the porosity values, 4. Does it need a stimulation, 5. Does it has pores, and 6. Does it have sufficient thickness. In contrast with the common oil and gas conventional play, Shale Play assumes that hydrocarbon is retained and trapped in area with very low permeability. In most places in Indonesia, hydrocarbon migrates from source rock to reservoir. From this case, we could derive a theory that Kitchen and Source Rock are located right below the reservoir. It is the starting point for user or engineer to construct basin definition in relation with the tectonic play and depositional environment. Shale Play concept requires definition of characteristic, description and reservoir identification to discover reservoir that is technically and economically possible to develop. These are the steps users and engineers has to do to perform Shale Play: a. Calculate TOC and perform mineralogy analysis using water saturation and porosity value. b. Reconstruct basin that accumulate hydrocarbon c. Brittlenes Index calculated form petrophysical and distributed based on seismic multi attributes d. Integrated natural fracture analysis e. Best location to place a well.

Keywords: Shale Gas, unconventional hydrocarbon, shale oil tight sand reservoir parameters, shale play

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10 Fracking the UK's Shale Gas Regulatory Regime

Authors: Yanal Abul Failat


The production of oil and natural gas from shale formations is becoming a trend, and many countries with technically and economically recoverable unconventional resources are endeavoring to explore how shale formations may benefit the economy and achieve energy security. The trajectory of shale gas development in the UK is highly supported by the government; in the Gas Generation Strategy Paper published by the UK government on 5 December 2013, it is recognized that the shale gas production would decrease reliance on imports and thus enhance the UK’s energy security. Moreover, the UK Institute of Directors report on UK Shale Gas Potential explains that in the UK there is a potential of production peaking at around 1.13 trillion cubic feet (“tcf”) and a sector that could support around 70,000 jobs and secure net benefit to the Treasury in tax revenues. On this basis, there has been a growing interest in the benefits of exploring the UK’s shale gas but a combination of technical challenges faced in shale gas operations, a stern opposition by environmentalists and concerns on the adequacy of the legal framework have slowed the progress of the emerging UK shale industry.

Keywords: Energy, Oil and Gas, Legal, Shale Gas

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9 Evaluation of Shale Gas Resource Potential of the Middle Benue Trough, Nigeria

Authors: Ovye Yohanna Musah


Shale formations of the Middle Benue Trough in North Central Nigeria present a variety of opportunities for the exploration, development and exploitation of unconventional natural gas. Prospective formations range in age from Albian through Coniacian; they include the Asu River Group, Awe, Ezeaku and the Awgu formations, however, the Keana and Lafia formations are thought to be of lesser importance. The Awgu formation presents the best prospect when compared to the Barnett Shales of Fort Worth Basin in Texa, United States with regards to the organic matter maturition, TOC content of formation and shale thicknesses which are key attributes that aid in determining the economic viability of any shale gas play. The vitrinite reflectance value from Rock Eval pyrolysis for Awe and Awgu formations are 0.89—1.34(%) and 0.83—1.13(%) respectively and are good and sufficiently mature to generate gas from the Benue Trough. The TOC value are good for Awgu formation which is 0.83—6.54(%) and closest to that of the Barnett at 1—4.5(%). Asu River and Ezeaku are less viable. Furthermore, the High to Medium Volatile bituminous coals found in the Awgu formation are characterized by high TOC contents which may enhance gas generation and this is good for further examination and possible development.

Keywords: Resource, Shale Gas, unconventional, benue, TOC

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8 The Sembar Cretaceous Shale Gas Bearing Formation at Hajipur

Authors: Zakiullah Kalwar, Shabeer Ahmed Abbasi


This research encompasses the study of Cretaceous Sembar Formation Shale Gas potential at Hajipur area. This study has been done with the approach of geophysical data integration. The structure is NE – SW trending anticline with two map able compartments at Cretaceous Sembar level. The study area is located within proven petroleum system. Cretaceous Sembar/Goru formation is in a Wet gas window and Tertiary source is possibly in the oil window. Potential seals are present in Upper Ranikot shale beds and Intra-Lower Ranikot shales. The effectiveness and presence of source and reservoir rocks are favorable in the area of interest. Cretaceous Sembar Shale and Goru Shale beds with good organic content (TOC upto 4%, Type II/III) are currently in gas generation window in the area. Source rock intervals are also reported in Eocene Kirthar Group (TOC upto 8%, Type –II). Good reservoir quality Paleocene Lower Ranikot and Cretaceous Sembar shale beds exist in the area. The collision between Indian and Eurasian Plates during Tertiary initiated folding and thrusting. The first phase of thrusting involved ophiolite emplacement along the western margins of the Indian Plate (west of the area under review). The main phase of thrusting in the Sulaiman region was from Late Miocene to the present. The study area contains Permian to Recent clastics and carbonates. The succession generally is younger in the southeast than in northwest. Intraformational sedimentation breaks are pronounced in Permian and Jurassic. Sulaiman Range is bounded by the Western Sulaiman Transform Fault Zone (of which the Kingri Fault is the major fault) to the west and by the Domanda Fault to the east. The Domanda Fault also constitutes the western boundary of the Sulaiman Foredeep, lies in sulaiman foredeep where subsurface having prominent independent closure. Several reservoir horizons of Jurassic to Eocene are established hydrocarbon producers in the Hajipur area.

Keywords: Shale Gas, enough size, good potential, structure closure

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7 Evaluation of Shale Gas Resource Potential of Cambay Basin, Gujarat, India

Authors: Vaishali Sharma, Anirbid Sircar


Energy is one of the most eminent and fundamental strategic commodity, scarcity of which may poses great impact on the functioning of the entire commodity. According to the present study, the estimated reserves of gas in India as on 31.03.2015 stood at 1427.15 BCM. It is expected that the gas demand is set to grow significantly at a CAGR of 7% from 226.7 MMSCMD in 2012-13 to 713.5 MMSCMD in 2009-30. To bridge the gap between the demand and supply of energy, the interest towards the exploration and exploitation of unconventional resources like – Shale gas, Coal bed methane, Gas hydrates, tight gas etc has immensed. Nowadays, Shale gas prospects are emerging rapidly as a promising energy source globally. The United States of America (USA) has 240 TCF of proved reserves of shale gas and presently contributed more than 17% of total gas production. As compared to USA, shale gas production in India is at nascent stage. A resource potential of around 2000 TCF is estimated and according to preliminary data analysis, basins like Gondwana, Cambay, Krishna – Godavari, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan, Rajasthan, Vindhyan, and Bengal are the most promising shale gas basins. In the present study, the careful evaluation of Cambay Shale (Indian Shale) properties like geological age, lithology, depth, organically rich thickness, TOC, thermal maturity, porosity, permeability, clay content, quartz content, Kerogen type, Hydrocarbon window etc. has been done. And then the detailed comparison of Indian shale with USA shale will be discussed. This study investigates qualitative and quantitative nature of potential shale basins which will be helpful from exploration and exploitation point of view.

Keywords: Shale Gas, Shale, lithology, energy source

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6 Flowback Fluids Treatment Technology with Water Recycling and Valuable Metals Recovery

Authors: Monika Konieczyńska, Joanna Fajfer, Olga Lipińska


In Poland works related to the exploration and prospection of unconventional hydrocarbons (natural gas accumulated in the Silurian shale formations) started in 2007, based on the experience of the other countries that have created new possibilities for the use of existing hydrocarbons resources. The highly water-consuming process of hydraulic fracturing is required for the exploitation of shale gas which implies a need to ensure large volume of water available. As a result considerable amount of mining waste is generated, particularly liquid waste, i.e. flowback fluid with variable chemical composition. The chemical composition of the flowback fluid depends on the composition of the fracturing fluid and the chemistry of the fractured geological formations. Typically, flowback fluid is highly salinated, can be enriched in heavy metals, including rare earth elements, naturally occurring radioactive materials and organic compounds. The generated fluids considered as the extractive waste should be properly managed in the recovery or disposal facility. Problematic issue is both high hydration of waste as well as their variable chemical composition. Also the limited capacity of currently operating facilities is a growing problem. Based on the estimates, currently operating facilities will not be sufficient for the need of waste disposal when extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons starts. Further more, the content of metals in flowback fluids including rare earth elements is a considerable incentive to develop technology of metals recovery. Also recycling is a key factor in terms of selection of treatment process, which should provide that the thresholds required for reuse are met. The paper will present the study of the flowback fluids chemical composition, based on samples from hydraulic fracturing processes performed in Poland. The scheme of flowback fluid cleaning and recovering technology will be reviewed along with a discussion of the results and an assessment of environmental impact, including all generated by-products. The presented technology is innovative due to the metal recovery, as well as purified water supply for hydraulic fracturing process, which is significant contribution to reducing water consumption.

Keywords: Environmental Impact, Management of special waste streams, Shale Gas, flowback fluid, metals recovery

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5 A Model for Predicting Organic Compounds Concentration Change in Water Associated with Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing

Authors: Ma Lanting, S. Eguilior, A. Hurtado, Juan F. Llamas Borrajo


Horizontal hydraulic fracturing is a technology to increase natural gas flow and improve productivity in the low permeability formation. During this drilling operation tons of flowback and produced water which contains many organic compounds return to the surface with a potential risk of influencing the surrounding environment and human health. A mathematical model is urgently needed to represent organic compounds in water transportation process behavior and the concentration change with time throughout the hydraulic fracturing operation life cycle. A comprehensive model combined Organic Matter Transport Dynamic Model with Two-Compartment First-order Model Constant (TFRC) Model has been established to quantify the organic compounds concentration. This algorithm model is composed of two transportation parts based on time factor. For the fast part, the curve fitting technique is applied using flowback water data from the Marcellus shale gas site fracturing and the coefficients of determination (R2) from all analyzed compounds demonstrate a high experimental feasibility of this numerical model. Furthermore, along a decade of drilling the concentration ratio curves have been estimated by the slow part of this model. The result shows that the larger value of Koc in chemicals, the later maximum concentration in water will reach, as well as all the maximum concentrations percentage would reach up to 90% of initial concentration from shale formation within a long sufficient period.

Keywords: Shale Gas, model, Concentration, Organic Compounds

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4 Exploration of Hydrocarbon Unconventional Accumulations in the Argillaceous Formation of the Autochthonous Miocene Succession in the Carpathian Foredeep

Authors: Wojciech Górecki, Anna Sowiżdżał, Grzegorz Machowski, Tomasz Maćkowski, Bartosz Papiernik, Michał Stefaniuk


The article shows results of the project which aims at evaluating possibilities of effective development and exploitation of natural gas from argillaceous series of the Autochthonous Miocene in the Carpathian Foredeep. To achieve the objective, the research team develop a world-trend based but unique methodology of processing and interpretation, adjusted to data, local variations and petroleum characteristics of the area. In order to determine the zones in which maximum volumes of hydrocarbons might have been generated and preserved as shale gas reservoirs, as well as to identify the most preferable well sites where largest gas accumulations are anticipated a number of task were accomplished. Evaluation of petrophysical properties and hydrocarbon saturation of the Miocene complex is based on laboratory measurements as well as interpretation of well-logs and archival data. The studies apply mercury porosimetry (MICP), micro CT and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (using the Rock Core Analyzer). For prospective location (e.g. central part of Carpathian Foredeep – Brzesko-Wojnicz area) reprocessing and reinterpretation of detailed seismic survey data with the use of integrated geophysical investigations has been made. Construction of quantitative, structural and parametric models for selected areas of the Carpathian Foredeep is performed on the basis of integrated, detailed 3D computer models. Modeling are carried on with the Schlumberger’s Petrel software. Finally, prospective zones are spatially contoured in a form of regional 3D grid, which will be framework for generation modelling and comprehensive parametric mapping, allowing for spatial identification of the most prospective zones of unconventional gas accumulation in the Carpathian Foredeep. Preliminary results of research works indicate a potentially prospective area for occurrence of unconventional gas accumulations in the Polish part of Carpathian Foredeep.

Keywords: Shale Gas, Poland, autochthonous Miocene, Carpathian foredeep

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3 The Effect of Finding and Development Costs and Gas Price on Basins in the Barnett Shale

Authors: Hom Dhakal, Mohamed Hassan, Michael Kenomore, Amjad Shah


Shale gas reservoirs have been of greater importance compared to shale oil reservoirs since 2009 and with the current nature of the oil market, understanding the technical and economic performance of shale gas reservoirs is of importance. Using the Barnett shale as a case study, an economic model was developed to quantify the effect of finding and development costs and gas prices on the basins in the Barnett shale using net present value as an evaluation parameter. A rate of return of 20% and a payback period of 60 months or less was used as the investment hurdle in the model. The Barnett was split into four basins (Strawn Basin, Ouachita Folded Belt, Forth-worth Syncline and Bend-arch Basin) with analysis conducted on each of the basin to provide a holistic outlook. The dataset consisted of only horizontal wells that started production from 2008 to at most 2015 with 1835 wells coming from the strawn basin, 137 wells from the Ouachita folded belt, 55 wells from the bend-arch basin and 724 wells from the forth-worth syncline. The data was analyzed initially on Microsoft Excel to determine the estimated ultimate recoverable (EUR). The range of EUR from each basin were loaded in the Palisade Risk software and a log normal distribution typical of Barnett shale wells was fitted to the dataset. Monte Carlo simulation was then carried out over a 1000 iterations to obtain a cumulative distribution plot showing the probabilistic distribution of EUR for each basin. From the cumulative distribution plot, the P10, P50 and P90 EUR values for each basin were used in the economic model. Gas production from an individual well with a EUR similar to the calculated EUR was chosen and rescaled to fit the calculated EUR values for each basin at the respective percentiles i.e. P10, P50 and P90. The rescaled production was entered into the economic model to determine the effect of the finding and development cost and gas price on the net present value (10% discount rate/year) as well as also determine the scenario that satisfied the proposed investment hurdle. The finding and development costs used in this paper (assumed to consist only of the drilling and completion costs) were £1 million, £2 million and £4 million while the gas price was varied from $2/MCF-$13/MCF based on Henry Hub spot prices from 2008-2015. One of the major findings in this study was that wells in the bend-arch basin were least economic, higher gas prices are needed in basins containing non-core counties and 90% of the Barnet shale wells were not economic at all finding and development costs irrespective of the gas price in all the basins. This study helps to determine the percentage of wells that are economic at different range of costs and gas prices, determine the basins that are most economic and the wells that satisfy the investment hurdle.

Keywords: Shale Gas, Barnett shale, unconventional gas, estimated ultimate recoverable

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2 Role of Baseline Measurements in Assessing Air Quality Impact of Shale Gas Operations

Authors: Paula Costa, Ana Picado, Filomena Pinto, Justina Catarino


Environmental impact associated with large scale shale gas development is of major concern to the public, policy makers and other stakeholders. To assess this impact on the atmosphere, it is important to monitoring ambient air quality prior to and during all shale gas operation stages. Baseline observations can provide a standard of the pre-shale gas development state of the environment. The lack of baseline concentrations was identified as an important knowledge gap to assess the impact of emissions to the air due to shale gas operations. In fact baseline monitoring of air quality are missing in several regions, where there is a strong possibility of future shale gas exploration. This makes it difficult to properly identify, quantify and characterize environmental impacts that may be associated with shale gas development. The implementation of a baseline air monitoring program is imperative to be able to assess the total emissions related with shale gas operations. In fact, any monitoring programme should be designed to provide indicative information on background levels. A baseline air monitoring program should identify and characterize targeted air pollutants, most frequently described from monitoring and emission measurements, as well as those expected from hydraulic fracturing activities, and establish ambient air conditions prior to start-up of potential emission sources from shale gas operations. This program has to be planned for at least one year accounting for ambient variations. In the literature, in addition to GHG emissions of CH4, CO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOx), fugitive emissions from shale gas production can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), aldehydes (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The VOCs include a.o., benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, hexanes, 2,2,4-trimethylpentane, styrene. The concentrations of six air pollutants (ozone, particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), and lead) whose regional ambient air levels are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are often discussed. However, the main concern in the emissions to air associated to shale gas operations, seems to be the leakage of methane. Methane is identified as a compound of major concern due to its strong global warming potential. The identification of methane leakage from shale gas activities is complex due to the existence of several other CH4 sources (e.g. landfill, agricultural activity or gas pipeline/compressor station). An integrated monitoring study of methane emissions may be a suitable mean of distinguishing the contribution of different sources of methane to ambient levels. All data analysis needs to be carefully interpreted taking, also, into account the meteorological conditions of the site. This may require the implementation of a more intensive monitoring programme. So, it is essential the development of a low-cost sampling strategy, suitable for establishing pre-operations baseline data as well as an integrated monitoring program to assess the emissions from shale gas operation sites. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 640715.

Keywords: Shale Gas, green house gases, air emissions, baseline

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1 Characterization of Aluminosilicates and Verification of Their Impact on Quality of Ceramic Proppants Intended for Shale Gas Output

Authors: Joanna Szymanska, Paulina Wawulska-Marek, Jaroslaw Mizera


Nowadays, the rapid growth of global energy consumption and uncontrolled depletion of natural resources become a serious problem. Shale rocks are the largest and potential global basins containing hydrocarbons, trapped in closed pores of the shale matrix. Regardless of the shales origin, mining conditions are extremely unfavourable due to high reservoir pressure, great depths, increased clay minerals content and limited permeability (nanoDarcy) of the rocks. Taking into consideration such geomechanical barriers, effective extraction of natural gas from shales with plastic zones demands effective operations. Actually, hydraulic fracturing is the most developed technique based on the injection of pressurized fluid into a wellbore, to initiate fractures propagation. However, a rapid drop of pressure after fluid suction to the ground induces a fracture closure and conductivity reduction. In order to minimize this risk, proppants should be applied. They are solid granules transported with hydraulic fluids to locate inside the rock. Proppants act as a prop for the closing fracture, thus gas migration to a borehole is effective. Quartz sands are commonly applied proppants only at shallow deposits (USA). Whereas, ceramic proppants are designed to meet rigorous downhole conditions to intensify output. Ceramic granules predominate with higher mechanical strength, stability in strong acidic environment, spherical shape and homogeneity as well. Quality of ceramic proppants is conditioned by raw materials selection. Aim of this study was to obtain the proppants from aluminosilicates (the kaolinite subgroup) and mix of minerals with a high alumina content. These loamy minerals contain a tubular and platy morphology that improves mechanical properties and reduces their specific weight. Moreover, they are distinguished by well-developed surface area, high porosity, fine particle size, superb dispersion and nontoxic properties - very crucial for particles consolidation into spherical and crush-resistant granules in mechanical granulation process. The aluminosilicates were mixed with water and natural organic binder to improve liquid-bridges and pores formation between particles. Afterward, the green proppants were subjected to sintering at high temperatures. Evaluation of the minerals utility was based on their particle size distribution (laser diffraction study) and thermal stability (thermogravimetry). Scanning Electron Microscopy was useful for morphology and shape identification combined with specific surface area measurement (BET). Chemical composition was verified by Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy and X-ray Fluorescence. Moreover, bulk density and specific weight were measured. Such comprehensive characterization of loamy materials confirmed their favourable impact on the proppants granulation. The sintered granules were analyzed by SEM to verify the surface topography and phase transitions after sintering. Pores distribution was identified by X-Ray Tomography. This method enabled also the simulation of proppants settlement in a fracture, while measurement of bulk density was essential to predict their amount to fill a well. Roundness coefficient was also evaluated, whereas impact on mining environment was identified by turbidity and solubility in acid - to indicate risk of the material decay in a well. The obtained outcomes confirmed a positive influence of the loamy minerals on ceramic proppants properties with respect to the strict norms. This research is perspective for higher quality proppants production with costs reduction.

Keywords: Shale Gas, aluminosilicates, ceramic proppants, mechanical granulation

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