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Assessment of a Marcellus Shale Prospect Using Seismic, Microseismic, and Completions Data
Much attention has recently been focused on modifying the traditional conventional geophysical reservoir characterization workflow to provide outputs that are of use to integrated asset teams in unconventional resource plays. Geophysicists are consolidating their efforts in four primary areas: prediction of anisotropy from full-azimuth data, prediction of rock properties along the Vfast azimuth (which are the ‘true’ rock properties, having minimal distortion due to vertical fractures), prediction of the three principal stresses, and fracture characterization. We have adopted this philosophy by developing a comprehensive and integrated unconventional reservoir characterization workflow. The result is a fully integrated suite of deliverables that enables the entire asset team to make informed, intelligent decisions on the best course of action in prospect development.
This case study of the Marcellus Shale shows that petrophysics, rock physics, geophysics, and geology can successfully be integrated with reservoir and production engineering to characterize the Marcellus and other shale reservoirs. Landing zone rock brittleness as well as pre-existing fractures is shown to significantly impact well production. Therefore, a comprehensive suite of fracture characterization methods (including advanced techniques such as anisotropy and principal stress prediction) are needed to properly determine whether a pre-existing fracture zone will reopen or remain closed when hydrofractured.
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