Implications: Past, Present, and Future
Over the past decade, the unconventional oil and gas industry has identified the need for more high-quality data and better constraint on rock and fluid quantification from laboratory measurements, accessible through compiled, organized, easily accessible databases. The emergence of data-science-driven modeling (incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence) has identified an alternative tool set to help address the complexity of unconventional opportunities.
Unconventional reservoir life cycles are expedited for economic gain in the immediate years following well test programs—starting with rapid acreage assessment, pursuit, and capture through to exploration-appraisal and co-development. The need to move faster, integrate more data, and apply statistical modeling, while honoring the fundamental approaches of the foundational principles in the subsurface disciplines, lends itself to utilization of compiled global-scale/local-scale databases and datasets. This leads to subsurface quantification that can accurately predict your well’s performance.
Unconventional reservoir understanding has advanced beyond simply property delineation, such as organic enrichment and maturity, expanding to now include rock and fluid quantification at a more detailed and complex level. For example:
- Partitioning of fluids for free versus immobile phases
- Types of porosity with associated pore bodies
- Pore throats linked to the permeability and injection and drainage behavior, or the rock volume
- Geomechanical properties in a 3D application (i.e. how a designed completion is going to interact and modify the behavior of the rock and fluid interfacing with the wellbore)
Recent advancements in geochemical programmed pyrolysis now allow us to partition the hydrocarbon phase into mobile and immobile fractions. When combined with nuclear magnetic resonance measurements, we also have the information to partition the water into free and bound components of a given pore volume. Other tools, such as scanning electron microscopy, are used in our lab to assess and constrain the organic-matter-related pore volume, as well as the micro-meso and macro pores, and to partition the organic-matter-hosted components present.
To say unconventionals are ‘simple’ is the overstatement of the century, as GeoMark continues to unravel these complex plays and keep delivering the data you need, worldwide.