• Class and Course

    Shale Oil Fundamentals

    This course has been designed to follow the typical workflow performed during the exploration, development and exploitation of a Shale Reservoir Play.

    The course focus is on the integration of disciplines important in studying shales.

    This workflow has been developed based on experience in multiple shale plays in North America and will be referred to as the "Shale Operating Cycle".

    The "Shale Operating Cycle" is composed of the following phases:

    • The Exploration Phase
    • Pilot Project Phase
    • Appraisal Phase
    • "Factory Mode" Phase
    • Re-Assessment Phase

    The ultimate goal of the investigation into each shale reservoir is to develop an understanding of the geologic factors that control production from the shale reservoir and then determine the best methods for producing them.

    During this course we will cover:

    • What information should be available at the start of the study.
    • What methods should be employed during the main phases.
    • What tools are used by these methods.
    • What information is obtained by these methods.
    • How is the information integrated with other information and then used to determine if and how to proceed to the next phase.
    Day 1


    • Unconventional Reservoirs Overview. Are they important?
    • Shale Basics
      • The "Shale Production Control" Matrix
      • The "Shale Operating Cycle"
      • Review of Selected Major Shale Plays
    • Scale Considerations.
      • Basin Scale
      • "Operating Area" Scale

    Geoscience Considerations

    • Geochemical Considerations
      • Total Organic Carbon
      • Thermal Maturity
    • Geomechanical Considerations
      • Subsurface stresses
      • Borehole stresses and influences
      • Mechanical Earth Model (MEM)
    • Influences of Thickness, Depth, Pressure and Temperature
    Day 2

    Shale Exploration Projects

    • Shale Exploration Considerations
      • Reconnaissance methods
      • Methods for screening and ranking shale plays
    • Geophysics for Shale Reconnaissance Studies
    • Basin Modeling and "Regional Sweet Spots".
    • Shale Pilot Projects

    Shale Pilot Projects

    • Petrophysics
      • Mineralogy, Porosity and Permeability Determination
      • Importance of fractures
      • Shale Gas / Shale Oil Differences
    • Reservoir Evaluation Tools
      • Logs and Borehole Imaging
      • Formation Testing
    • Reservoir Sweet Spot Detection with Seismic
      • Fracture prediction versus fracture detection
    Day 3

    Appraisal Projects

    • Seismic-Based Fracture Detection Techniques (continued)
      • Fracture Characterization Methods
      • Fracture Prediction Methods
      • Fracture Detection Methods
      • Combinations Methods
    • Hydraulic Fracturing Considerations
    • Microseismic
    • Horizontal Borehole Considerations
      • Stress Direction and Borehole Orientation
      • Lateral Landing Considerations
    • Completion Considerations
      • Drainage Areas and Borehole Spacing
      • Environmental Considerations
    • Use of Seismic for Detecting Completion Sweet Spots
    • Examples of Production “Sweet Spots” and Economics
    • Summary

    Geoscientists, engineers and managers wishing to know about Shale Oil exploration and development 

    Currently there are no scheduled classes for this course.

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