• Class and Course

    Shale Plays Evaluation - Finding Production Sweet Spots

    Due to increasing global demand for clean hydrocarbons, the E&P companies are in search of unconventional resources. One of the unconventional resources is shale gas and liquids. They have very specific characteristics, such as complex mineralogy, lateral and vertical heterogeneity as well as anisotropy. These characteristics require detailed characterization and exploitation technologies

    This course provides attendees with focused instruction on the geological, geophysical and petrophysical attributes of shale reservoirs, including the origin and accumulation of natural gas and liquids. Participants will be exposed to the methods and workflows for identifying, characterizing, and developing  shale reservoirs. They will gain a foundational understanding of exploring, appraising, and locating production sweet spots for development. They will also review field examples as the basis for discussion and in-class exercises on economic viability of assets as a function of gas price.

    Key Learning Elements

    • A foundational understanding of the evaluation of shale gas reservoirs, in preparation for further learning or practice in their domain of expertise.
    • Detailed knowledge of available reservoir characterization and formation evaluation tools and techniques.
    Day 1

    Introduction – In day one, the course will cover the basic shale gas and liquids geological & geophysical considerations. These will include the definition of “Unconventional Reservoirs” and how they differ from “Conventional Reservoirs.” The course will then cover an overview of basic concepts and main considerations for their evaluation.

    • Geologic Considerations: regional (or basin-wide) structural influences and tectonic considerations and local stratigraphy.
    • Exploration Considerations: Reconnaissance methods; objectives and tasks involved in the exploration study; screening and ranking prospects; importance of fractures; use of seismic in the evaluation of shale reservoirs; role of geomechanics; use of basin modeling and petroleum systems analysis; risk analysis and pilot projects
    Day 2

    Shale Hydrocarbons Reservoir Analysis– In day two, the course will focus on

    • Geochemical and Geomechanical Consideration.
    • Geochemical - Total Organic Carbon & Thermal Maturity.
    • Geomechanics - Paleo Stress; Modern Stress; Near borehole Stress and Wellbore Failure; Mechanical Earth Model (MEM); Thickness, Depth and Pressure; Hydrocarbons Storage Capacity.
    • Formation Evaluation including determination of mineralogy; porosity (total porosity vs. effective porosity); permeability; free and total gas quantification; adsorbed hydrocarbons quantification; saturation and shale gas integrated with cores.
    Day 3

    Shale Gas Reservoir Evaluation – In day 3, the course will focus on Formation Evaluation including Wireline Logging; Borehole Imaging; Micro-Seismic Analysis; Wireline formation testing.

    • Static reservoir pressure
    • Fluid typing
    • In-situ permeability and permeability anisotropy and Hydrocarbons-in-place calculations

    The day will end with an Exercise – Exploration, Shale Play Score Card Development and Play Selection.

    Day 4

    Reservoir Quality Considerations for Borehole Placement - In day four, the participants will be exposed to Reservoir Quality Considerations for Borehole Placement including - Stress direction and lateral orientation; Drainage areas and borehole spacing; Production “Sweet Spots” Economics; Statistical Drilling; Sweet Spot Drilling; The “Shale Cycle”, Exploration, Pilot Project and Production.

    The day will end with an Exercise - Shale Evaluation Calculation.

    This course is designed to expose the multi-disciplinary asset team of operating companies comprising of engineers, geoscientists, financial decision makers, and managers to shale plays resources.


    Main Objective: The primary objective of this course is give the class attendees an overview of the main tasks that need to be performed to establish economic gas production from shale reservoirs, as well as an understanding of how these tasks integrate.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVE #1 - Develop an understanding of what makes an unconventional reservoir, what types of unconventional reservoir exist, how they differ from each other (as well as how they differ from conventional reservoirs) and what the main characteristics are of shale reservoirs.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVE #2 - Develop an understanding for the various phases that are involved in effectively establishing shale gas production ("The Shale Operating Cycle"), what tasks and analyses are involved in each phase, what data types are need for these analyses and what information can be obtained for those analyses.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVE #3 - Develop a basic understanding of the fundamentals and integration points for:

    • Geomechanics

    • Geochemtistry

    • Basin Modeling

    • Petrophysics

    • Well logging

    • Hydraulic Fracturing

    • Seismic analysis

    • Completions

    • Microseismic

    • Environmental Impacts

    LEARNING OBJECTIVE #4 - Develop an understanding for the different types of "Shale Sweet Spots", what their characteristics are and what tasks are involved in identifying them prior to drilling.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVE #5 - Develop an understanding of what geologic factors influence and control the effectiveness of well completions and what effects these have on wellbore planning.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVE #6 - Develop an understanding of what types of advanced seismic techniques are available for "Sweet Spot" detection and what types of seismic data are needed for these.

    4 Years Geoscience Degree

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