It is evident that liquid recoveries, even under reasonably ideal conditions are only on the order of 10%. Improving these recoveries is extremely important for economic sustainability of producing liquids from shales. Our research in Phase 1 and 2 of Liquids from Shales (EGI reports I 00973) also showed that developing a comprehensive understanding of underlying processes and optimization requires integration of robust geological modeling, hydraulic fracturing representation, and accurate simulation of the stimulated reservoir volume.
This next generation of research is designed to develop tools for optimizing recovery of fluids in shales and identify improved recovery processes. Project tasks will be focused toward understanding creation, characterization and effect of stimulated reservoir volumes on improved liquid recoveries in unconventional reservoirs. Research will also be performed on understanding the overall logistics of development – hydraulic fracture spacing, well spacing, gas and water injection possibilities, for secondary recovery.
Proprietary sponsor data is not a requirement to join this project. However, sponsor-provided data is encouraged to advance the research effort and understanding by supporting the creation of representative geomodels for liquid production. We anticipate examples from Wolfcamp, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Niobrara and Marcellus type systems. With the addition of production, well log, and fluid data, etc., the tuned models will go beyond mere generic generalizations about a single play and define a broad range of liquid producing shales parameters representing global variability of shale systems.
Research collaboration for fracture generation and proppant transport will be coordinated with the Idaho National Lab. The research team will include graduate students from the Department of Engineering.
Increasing the complexity of the stimulation in shale formations will increase the surface area of rock that is contacted and will allow for increased recoveries. We will develop models that incorporate natural fractures within the formation, changing stress fields as stimulation occurs and proppant flow into new and reactivated fractures. These models will allow us to further understand fracture complexity and to develop a framework to optimize recoveries on a case by case basis.