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AAPG Bulletin, Preliminary version published online Ahead of Print 1 August 2023.

Copyright © 2023. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.


High-resolution petrophysical, geochemical, and geomechanical profiling of a 230 m continuous core from the Montney Formation (Canada)

Daniela Becerra1 , Christopher R. Clarkson, and Amin Ghanizadeh

1 Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary1: 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4

Ahead of Print Abstract

Low-permeability (‘tight’) siltstones and mudstones of the Montney Formation in western Canada are currently being exploited with multi-stage fractured horizontal wells (MFHWs). A significant challenge for development is effectively targeting zones for lateral placement and hydraulic fracture stimulation within the typically thick (up to 350 m) gross Montney interval. At the vertical resolution of common well log suites, the Montney displays limited variability, with important cm-scale changes in petrophysical and geomechanical properties, which can affect reservoir quality, being undetectable.
An unprecedented high-resolution data set consisting of elemental compositions (from X-ray fluorescence, XRF), permeability (using a profile permeameter), and rock hardness (using a micro-rebound hammer tool) was obtained from a continuous core (230 m) sampling the entire Montney, as well as small intervals of the bounding formations. These non-destructive tests were collected on the slabbed core at 2.5 cm intervals (approximately 10,000 measurement points). Routine core data (porosity, permeability, etc.), collected sporadically throughout the 210 m interval covering the Montney portion of the core, and a conventional log suite, were also available for comparison with the high-resolution data set.
Vertical profiling results demonstrate that the entire Montney Formation (Lower and Middle members) exhibits significant cm-scale heterogeneity. These members are easily distinguished with the high-resolution dataset and reservoir quality trends (as quantified with permeability and rock hardness) are similarly easily inferred. As a result, targets for horizontal lateral placement can be confidently selected. In addition, the high-resolution profiling method proposed herein may have important applications for simulating hydraulic fracture height growth and for selecting appropriate and representative samples (e.g., core plugs). For the former, low-hardness, organic-rich mudstone beds, and weak interfaces with more competent rock, could act to blunt hydraulic fracture growth. For the latter, the cm-scale resolution of profiling enables sampling of lithologies for which reservoir properties vary at the cm-scale, which is not possible through well log analysis.

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Please cite this AAPG Bulletin Ahead of Print article as:

Daniela Becerra , Christopher R. Clarkson, Amin Ghanizadeh: High-resolution petrophysical, geochemical, and geomechanical profiling of a 230 m continuous core from the Montney Formation (Canada), (in press; preliminary version published online Ahead of Print 01 August 2023: AAPG Bulletin, DOI:10.1306/05032322095.