Sweet spot identification in underexplored shales using multidisciplinary reservoir characterization and key performance indicators: Example of the Posidonia Shale Formation in the Netherlands
ter Heege, J.H.
ten Veen, J.H.
de Bruin, G.
Sweet spot identification in underexplored shale gas basins needs to be based on a limited amount of data on shale properties in combination with upfront geological characterization and modelling, because actual production data is usually absent. Multidisciplinary reservoir characterization and integration of modelling approaches can aid initial site selection for exploratory drilling and de-risk exploration efforts. In this study, the potential of hydrocarbon production across underexplored shale basins is analyzed using key performance indicators. A mean indicator is defined as the harmonic mean of three performance indicators that describe the potential for hydrocarbon generation, storage, and flow stimulation. The performance indicators are based on a limited number of local shale properties, i.e. vitrinite reflectance, porosity, depth, thickness, sorbed gas content and brittleness index. Values for the indicators are calculated relative to prospective North American shales (Marcellus, Bakken, Haynesville and Barnett), so that the mean indicator can be used to rank the prospectivity of an underexplored shale relative to hydrocarbon producing shales. The mean performance indicator is also used to map out the potential for gas production in the underexplored Posidonia Shale Formation in the West Netherlands Basin. The analysis shows that the performance indicator is lower for the Posidonia than for the North American Shales, mainly due to low maturity and brittleness. Local maxima of the indicator correlate with local maxima in vitrinite reflectance and depth. Besides the low potential for flow stimulation, the potential for hydrocarbon generation and storage capacity of the Posidonia are comparable to oil-window thermal-maturity Barnett Shale. Upfront simulations of hydraulic fracture properties and gas production in the Posidonia Shale Formation are in rough agreement with observed average gas flow for Barnett wells in non-core areas that are oil mature. It shows that key performance indicators can be applied to underexplored shales to quantify prospectivity and map out sweet spots across shale basins.
To reference this document use:
PG - Petroleum Geosciences
ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences
Geological Survey Netherlands
Sweet spot identification
Key performance indicators
Underexplored shale basins
Posidonia shale formation
North American shales
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 27, 558-577