A guide to better oil and gas shale production

By Georgie White
It’s essential to be able to measure the amount of gas, oil and water that is produce on any wellbore project and this can only be achieved...

It’s essential to be able to measure the amount of gas, oil and water that is produce on any wellbore project and this can only be achieved through innovative technology. This inexpensive technology provides confirmation that a wellbore is open to flow, identifies and quantifies stage flow contribution of each phase, and provides measurement of drainage area connectivity — simply by adding small amounts of unique chemical tracers to each stage’s stimulation fluid.

To see any type of correlation between zonal productivity and the wellbore area, independent stage production can be made useful. Using this knowledge, future well development plans can be adjusted with confidence to ensure that any changes made will result in enhanced ultimate hydrocarbon recovery.

To ensure the area that is being drilled for the well is viable, improved surveillance technology has been introduced. These include seismic, micro-seismic, core, and multiple specialist log data sets. Historically, it has been difficult to place faith in surveillance data to vary future drilling or stimulation activities. At best, there was no confirmation that recovery would improve if the data was used to change the program design. Or worse still, one data set was inconsistent with another, leaving the operator unsure which to believe. Tracerco technology offers a method to prove the accuracy of these measurements, providing operators with confidence when planning future well and field development.

Using gamma ray (GR) technologies throughout a wellbore project, the colour red will signify that the drill is below the targeted area and the blue will signal that the drill is hitting the middle section. These GR observations support geological expectations.

Producing cumulative gas will be inevitable when wellbore drilling begins and will be shown when the colour changes to red — when water is present, the colour will turn blue. When organisations drill outside of zone low (toe stages), it commonly results in reduced gas production and increased water production. Drilling out of zone high (middle stages) was not detrimental. These types of stages show effective hydrocarbon production without suffering from increased water. Armed with this knowledge and by incorporating real time GR monitoring during drilling, operators can become better positioned to efficiently complete future wells in the field and remain in the more productive rock.

If you start a wellbore project above a parent well, hydrocarbon will be produced. Also note the increased production from stages in the centre section of the horizontals that was believed to result from accessing rock, not previously produced by the parent well.

The introduction of the frac tracer by Tracerco has helped industry leaders view different segments of their projects. Using this knowledge, the operator can evaluate drilling, stimulation and production decisions, and extract the full benefit of pre-completion seismic and geophysical diagnostics (seismic, log, micro seismic, landing zone, etc.) to ensure enhanced ultimate hydrocarbon recovery.

To find out more, Tracerco, specialists in waterflood and injection gas flow monitoring, has created a more in-depth article including gamma ray images.

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