New Guidebook and Fall Symposium

Title: New Guidebook and Fall Symposium
Publication: The Outcrop, August 2005, p. 1, 6-7

“By any name — deep basin gas, basin-centered gas (BCG), resource plays, or pervasive tight gas — these huge unconventional accumulations are the subject of very large exploration and development programs. Moreover, they will be for years to come because of the vast amount of accessible gas in these deposits with current and projected prices combined with current and developing technology.”

This quote from the paper by Lawrence D. Meckel and M. Ray Thomasson appears in the RMAG 2005 guidebook CD that is titled Gas in Low Permeability Reservoirs of the Rocky Mountain Region and introduces both the new guidebook and the one day RMAG/ PTTC Fall Symposium on August 29th.

Gas in Low Permeability Reservoirs of the Rocky Mountain Region Guidebook CD

The guidebook CD includes eleven papers that touch on the understanding of, and questions about, low permeability reservoirs, as well as the challenges of exploration for, and production from, these reservoirs. Examples that authors discuss include the Denver, San Juan, Green River, Wind River, Piceance, Uinta, and Alberta basins. The authors of papers provide a background of theory and evidence following the early questions regarding gas trapped in basin centers, explanations of that occurrence, and now additional evidence and renewed discussion about the generation and trapping mechanisms of these types of reserves. The expanded discussion about mechanisms of gas charge are part of the paper by Alton Brown as quoted below:

“…examine the issues of charge to low permeability gas reservoirs, with emphasis on generation and basin exhumation. The goal is to determine which mechanisms sufficiently increase gas saturation for water-free gas production.”

Also included are technical discussions of the mechanisms of generation, migration, and trapping of gas in reservoirs with low permeability as well as techniques for production of these reserves.

The future importance of these resources in the Rocky Mountain region is an additional focus of the guidebook as seen by this quote from the paper by Philip H. Stark.

“Expanding unconventional gas plays have supported continuous growth of gas production in the Rocky Mountain region (Rockies) since 1990. Faced with tightening North American gas supplies, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) indicates that Rockies gas production must continue to grow in order to meet projected U.S. gas demand in 2010. It is estimated that Rockies gas drilling must increase by about 7 percent per year in order to meet the EIA’s projections. New technologies, expanded exploration, increased drilling, efficient regulatory processes and collaborative efforts to balance energy development and environmental policy matters will be required to meet the ElA’s desired growth rates for Rockies gas production. A handful of leading Rockies coalbed methane (CBM) and tight sands plays are the prime sources for current growth of gas supplies.”

The guidebook CD will be available at the RMAG office and at the symposium. The list of papers is as follows:

“Effects of Exhumation on Gas Saturation Tight Gas Sandstones,” Alton Brown

“Experimental and Empirical Observations Supporting a Capillary Model Involving Gas Generation, Migration and Seal Leakage for the Origin and Occurrence of Regional ‘Gasifers,'” Stephen W. Burnie, Brij-Maini, Bruce R. Palmer, and Kaush Rakhit

“Permeability, Capillary Pressure, and Relative Permeability Properties in Low-Permeability Reservoirs and the Influence of Thin, High-Permeability Beds on Production,” Alan R. Byrnes

“Trapping Mechanisms for the Fractured Sandstone Gas Reservoirs of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico and Colorado: Stratigraphic Traps; Not Models for “Basin Centered” Gas and an Overview of Fruitland Formation Coal-Bed Methane,” James E. Fassett and Bradford C. Boyce

“The Interpretation of Fluids and Pressures in Determining Conventional and Unconventional Gas Resources in the Rocky Mountain Region,” John R. Forster and John C. Horne

“Petrophysical Analysis of Piceance Basin Tight Gas Sandstones, Northwest Colorado, to Distinguish Wet Sands from Gas-Bearing Sands, and to Categorize Rock Quality Variation by Incorporating Capillary Pressure Interpretations,” Michael Holmes, Antony M. Holmes, and Dominic I. Holmes

“Assessment of The Mesaverde Total Petroleum System Southwestern Wyoming Province: A Petroleum System Approach to Assessing Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources,” Ronald C. Johnson, Thomas M. Finn, and Troy Cook

“Shear Reactivation of Fractures Deep Frontier Sandstones: Evidence from Horizontal Wells in the Table Rock Field, Wyoming,” John C. Lorenz, Lee F. Krystinik, and Thomas H. Mroz

“Pervasive Tight Gas Sandstone Reservoirs: An Overview,” Lawrence D. Meckel and M. Ray Thomasson

“Advances in Hydraulic Fracturing of Low Permeability Reservoirs: Slickwater, Fracs, and Other Key Factors,” Jennifer L. Miskimins


Low Permeability Reservoirs in the Rockies Fall Symposium

The guidebook is a great introduction and background reading for the RMAG/PTTC Fall Symposium, which draws speakers from the guidebook authors and from talks at the recent Hedberg Conference.

This year’s RMAG/PTTC Fall Symposium will present new research and field studies to help you understand, explore and develop low permeability reservoirs. As such, it will also be a forum to further the discussion as to whether these resources are in conventional traps or distributed in more pervasive “basin-centered” settings.

Among the presenters from the guidebook are Meckel and Thomasson, Brynes, Brown, Forster and Horne, and Fassett and Boyce. Additional speakers were selected from the recent AAPG Hedberg Conference on tight gas reservoirs and include Earl Norris from BP, Don Yurewicz from Exxonmobil, Steve Cumella from Bill Barrett Corporation, and Keith Shanley and Bob Cluff from the Discovery Group. Titles of these papers are shown on the registration form found on page 21 of this Outcrop. The Keynote Luncheon Speaker will be Steven W. Holditch of Texas University who will share with us the history of the development of tight gas resources and will give us his perspective on future trends and techniques to improve recovery from these challenging reservoir rocks.

The symposium will be organized in the same manner as in past one-day meetings. We will have five talks in the morning, break for lunch with a Keynote Speaker, then reconvene for an afternoon session of five more talks. The symposium will be followed by a Happy Hour reception and discussion period. A registration form is included on page 21 of this issue of the Outcrop.

This 2005 symposium is a follow-up to the highly successful and well attended 2003 Petroleum Systems and Reservoirs of SW Wyoming, which drew rave reviews for content and controversy. Don’t miss this meeting!