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Tight Gas

3 – 6 March 2013

Barossa Valley, Adelaide, Australia | Novotel Barossa Valley Resort

Technical Agenda

Monday, 4 March, 0830-0930

Session 1: Introduction/Opening/Keynote Address


Session 2: Reservoir Characterisation

Reservoir characterisation is the starting point for resource assessment, dynamic simulation and field development. Characterisation of tight gas and shale gas reservoirs is particularly challenging because we are working at the low end of the porosity/permeability scale. The contrast between productive and non-productive rock can be subtle. This session will explore reservoir characterisation issues such as:

  • Geophysical methods and seismic interpretation challenges
  • Logging, formation evaluation and special core analysis in tight gas and shale gas reservoirs
  • Geomechanical evaluation and characterisation of natural fractures within the in situ stress regime framework
  • Hydrocarbon habitat(s) in tight reservoirs


Session 3: Reservoir Engineering

Tight gas plays offer some unique challenges for reservoir engineering from performance prediction and field development planning through to ongoing reservoir management and production forecasting. This session will focus on the following topics:

  • Productivity prediction and modelling performance
  • Development designs such as well spacing, horizontal vs vertical to enhance production
  • Reservoir management including ways to obtain surveillance data and production data analysis
  • Reserves and resource estimation
  • Production challenges


Session 4: Drilling and Completion

The unique nature of tight gas reservoirs poses many challenges to drilling operations. These challenges include formation damage, slow ROP, high pressure and temperature, wellbore instability and well integrity. The ultra low permeability of the reservoir makes them notoriously susceptible to formation damage, either from drilling fluid or even completion fluid. Many of these formations are very hard, presenting a huge challenge to drill with acceptable ROP. Wells with highly fractured shales may be very unstable and prone to collapse. These challenges, if left unmitigated, may reduce production, increase development cost, compromise HSE and ultimately affect the viability of the asset. Fortunately, with advancement in technology, many of these challenges can be overcome and allows the value of tight gas to be realised. This session will focus on key areas below:

  • Underbalanced drilling
  • Formation damage
  • Drilling optimisation
  • Well integrity


Session 5: Poster Session

Tuesday, 5 March, 0830-1230

Session 6: Fracturing and Stimulation

Hydraulic fracturing is widely accepted as a key technology in unlocking low to ultra low permeability reservoirs. However, one size does not fit all and careful planning, laboratory analysis, fracture modelling and review are all important parts of optimising production results from fracture stimulation treatments. As the tight gas market spreads away from the traditional North America core area, consideration of available horsepower and materials is a key concern in determining what sort of job can be performed. This session will discuss advances and best practices in hydraulic fracturing as well as concerns in emerging markets. Topics may include:

  • Stimulation of hydraulic fracturing
  • Formation damage in tight gas
  • Latest technology in hydraulic fracturing
  • Limitation and challenges in hydraulic fracturing
  • Fracturing fluid
  • Microseismic

Wednesday, 6 March, 0830-1030

Session 7: Shale Gas

Shale gas and tight gas unconventional plays are believed to be “close cousins”. Nevertheless, there are significant differences, particularly in the area of effective reservoir characterisation, optimum well design and efficient stimulation techniques. This session will review the current practices being used in this play type:

  • Understanding how shale and tight plays differ in reservoir and production characteristics
  • Examining the process used to map, evaluate and identify of sweet spots and trapping mechanisms
  • Examining how the completion strategies differ between shale and tight gas plays
  • Relating production curves to geology to determine the best geological and completion mechanisms for different plays


Session 8: HSE

Business decisions in tight gas development involve numerous disciplines and stakeholders working together in a holistic manner. There is tremendous pressure on companies to carry out safe and environmentally friendly activities. The industry has made significant changes/progress in this area. Every technical and non-technical participant, as well as governmental regulatory bodies, can contribute to success through the advancement of technology, and appropriate science based communication—communication that takes into account the fear, uncertainty and doubt of the diverse stakeholder group. This session will review the state-of-the-art technologies, efficiencies and management approaches to safe operations, environmental security and effective communication:

  • Environmentally friendly – current and near-future practices in drilling, completions and production
  • HSE decisions, risk and uncertainty
  • Responding to fear, uncertainty and doubt


Session 9: Recent Technology Application

Development of tight gas/shale gas outside North America remains challenged by higher cost structures and often limited running room for projects. Implementation of high end solutions/new technologies could be a critical enabler for the maturation of these resources. Application of high end technologies in early project phases can accelerate learning and reduce maturation cycles times. These can also play a critical role in improving safety, reducing environmental impacts, and enabling access to resources in more difficult settings or populated/sensitive areas. With technological advances and breakthroughs come exposures to new risk—risk that must be recognised, accommodated and actively managed. This session will highlight new technologies that have been successfully applied or are being developed to enable appraisal and development of tight gas/shale gas resources. Technologies to be discussed may include:

  • Application of borehole seismic/microseismic technologies
  • Downhole pressure monitoring
  • Well manufacturing systems


Session 10: Case Studies

Case studies are the confluence of theory, laboratory analysis and field operations. They provide examples of what has, or has not, worked so that others can learn from them. It is intended that this session will provide practical examples of both positive and negative learning experiences across a spectrum of tight gas reservoirs and from different geographic settings. Session participants will hopefully gain a better appreciation of:

  • Integrated tight gas project exploration, evaluation, development planning and execution
  • Real-life experiences (positive and negative) from tight gas projects


Session 11: Summary and Wrap-up