Ins and Outs of Unconventional Resources


This one-day class will provide an overview of the geology of shale and tight liquids and gas reservoirs as well as an overview of long-term performance evaluation. The course will be divided into four parts.

  1. Definition of unconventional reservoirs: There is currently no single definition for unconventional reservoirs that the petroleum industry uses. Most of the current definitions are qualitative and do not take into account the different fluid types in unconventional reservoirs. This course will provide a simple, graphical-quantitative definition of unconventional reservoirs based on fluid flow equations. The quantitative definition will serve as a launching pad for the rest of the course.
  2. Geology of shale gas and liquids reservoirs: This section of the course will focus on the geology of source rocks as reservoirs (i.e. shale gas and liquids reservoirs). The course will focus on the rock, fluid, and reservoir pressure conditions that are needed for optimal shale gas and liquids production. The course attendees will learn the geologic conditions under which good shale reservoirs are deposited as well as the burial and thermal conditions under which source rocks become saturated with petroleum and evolve into shale reservoirs. The course attendees will also learn how to evaluate the potential of a shale and how to find sweet spots in a shale fairway.  Lastly, the course attendees will learn how to identify areas of maximum value in a fairway as product prices change. In the course exercise, attendees will generate maps of a shale fairway and will learn to identify the areas of likely maximum gas and liquids production.
  3. Geology of tight gas and liquids reservoirs: In this section of the course, attendees will learn the basics of how reservoirs become tight (i.e. low permeability) and how tight reservoirs are charged by petroleum. This section will introduce the attendees to concepts of how tight reservoirs are similar to  or different from conventional reservoirs. The course will discuss concepts of permeability evolution and the effect of burial history on prospectivity of tight reservoirs. The course will also evaluate concepts of basin center gas and reservoir compartmentalization, with emphasis on gas-water contacts and production of water in tight reservoirs.
  4. Long-term performance of unconventional reservoirs: A crucial challenge facing the industry today is the characterization of production profile to ensure a clear understanding of long term well performance. This section will provide a various techniques and surveillance to understand and predict unconventional gas production profile. The section will include a) Rate transient analysis, b) Pressure transient analysis and c) Reserves estimates.


Harris Cander

Harris Cander has worked for BP for the past 21 years and currently leads BP's new venture efforts for onshore South America basins. From 2010 to 2011, Cander led BP's research and development program in unconventional reservoirs and fluids. For the past several years, he has focused on unconventional resources and played an integral role in all of BP's entries into shale plays in North America. In addition to North and South America, Cander has done exploration and development work in offshore Trinidad, Sakhalin, the Gulf of Mexico, the Beaufort Sea, offshore Angola, central Europe, and Indonesia. From 2009 to 2010, Cander was an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer on unconventional resources. His presentation on shale liquids plays at AAPG 2012 won an award for excellence in oral presentation. Since 2008, Cander has been the chairman of the AAPG Unconventional Research Group. He will also serve as theme chairman for unconventional resources for the 2013 AAPG Annual Meeting. Cander holds a PhD in geology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Rice University.

Mazher Ibrahim is currently working for BP America as a senior reservoir engineer. He has 21 years of experience working in the petroleum engineering discipline, which includes field experience and various advisory roles. Ibrahim's working experience includes several years with EOG Resources as a staff reservoir engineer, three years with BP Egypt as senior reservoir/petroleum engineer, and one year with El Paso Energy in Houston, Texas. In addition, he has 10 years of teaching experience at Texas A&M University and Egypt University.

Ibrahim holds BS and MS degrees from Suez Canal University and a PhD from Texas A&M University, all in petroleum engineering. His areas of experience are rate transient analysis, reservoir simulation, and well-test analysis of conventional and unconventional reservoirs.

He is an active SPE member and has been on numerous program committees of major SPE events, including the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in the reservoir engineering section. He has authored and coauthored more than 23 technical papers in the areas of specialized petroleum and reservoir engineering.

He has also been a review committee member for SPE Reservoir Evaluation & EngineeringJournal of Canadian Petroleum Technology (JCPT), and Canadian Energy Technology & Innovation Journal (CETI).

Kieth Shanley

Keith W. Shanley is a consulting geologist with the Discovery Group in Denver, Colorado with almost 30 years of experience in oil and gas exploration, development, and research. He is internationally known for his expertise in sedimentology and stratigraphy—both clastic and carbonate—as applied to reservoir description and also for his work in non-conventional reservoirs, particularly tight-sandstone reservoirs. Additionally, he has considerable expertise in subsurface risk assessment and its integration with subsurface projects. He has worked extensively in both conventional and non-conventional reservoir systems in basins throughout the world and provides in-house and open industry training in reservoir description, sedimentology, and stratigraphy as well as project integration. Shanley is widely published with more than 15 refereed papers and 55 abstracts, and he has edited or co-edited 13 special publications and volumes.

He holds a BA in geology from Rice University in Houston, Texas and MS and PhD degrees in geology, with minors in geophysics, from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. He has worked for both major (Shell and Amoco/BP) and independent (Tenneco and Basin/Stone) companies with experience in most North American and many international basins.

Shanley is active in several professional societies including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists (RMAG), the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), and the Denver Well Logging Society (DWLS).