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Improving unconventional reservoir performance with geoscience-based development strategies:

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New technology and workflows can help operators shorten the learning curve to maximize unconventional reservoir performance, early in the project life cycle, said Shaletec.

It added that as efficiencies plateau in North American shale basins, operators require new strategies to lower costs/bbl that go beyond drilling and completion.

Over the past several years, the shale industry has successfully lowered costs through improved drilling and completion efficiencies. Meanwhile, reservoir geoscience applications, which can further optimize operations, have not received the same level of focus.

Shaletec said “Incremental costs associated with reservoir data acquisition and time required for interpretation are often perceived as counterculture to the dominant cost-efficiency mindset. On the contrary, as operating efficiency approaches a plateau, refocusing on geoscience presents exactly the opportunity that unconventional operators need to further reduce total cost per barrel.

“By leveraging fit-for-purpose measurements that are acquired at key points during the unconventional project life cycle and coupling them with efficient workflows that render acquired subsurface data timely and useful for operational decisions, operators can achieve several key objectives. One of these includes landing laterals with improved placement to unlock maximum producible hydrocarbons.”

It said that at the start of the project, acreage is typically selected, leased and ranked for potential, based on legacy well logs, nearby production information, and possibly seismic, (if available): “Multiple landing scenarios can be explored without spending the money to drill a single lateral, a sage alternative to the modus operandi of experimentation via the drilling of multiple, sparsely informed horizontal wells.”

Shaletec concluded: “As the shale industry weathers the downturn and makes strategic decisions to sustain increased market volatility moving forward, solutions that consider the complexities of shale reservoirs will be increasingly valuable. A smartly rationed investment in the right subsurface data comes at a fraction of the cost of a single horizontal well, yet when applied at the right time, can vastly shorten the unconventional learning curve for the life of the project.” For more information visit