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Unconventional-Reservoir Development in Mexico

In 2010, exploration of gas-rich and possibly liquid-rich shale reservoirs began in northern Mexico. A two-stage integrated workflow was developed to achieve set objectives. The drilling stage used a petrophysical and geomechanical static model to identify the most prospective interval in the reservoir, define the best drilling azimuth and landing point, and reduce drilling risk. Real-time geosteering was implemented to achieve the targeted navigation window. In the completion stage, reservoir-centric completion-and-stimulation software was used to optimize completion and stimulation design.

Introduction

The initial target formation was the Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford; the second was a Jurassic formation locally called Pimienta.

The Eagle Ford shale is a Late Cretaceous hydrocarbon-producing formation composed of organic-rich calcareous mudstones with mineralogical composition with ranges of 5–20% quartz, 15–25% clay, and 65–80% carbonate, and with a total-organic-carbon (TOC) range of 1–6%. The Eagle Ford shale is overlain by the Austin chalk and overlies the Buda limestone.  It has been divided into two units, a lower unit deposited during transgressive sequences and an upper unit deposited in a regressive sequence. Both units were deposited in a low-angle sloping ramp. As of July 2012, five wells had been drilled in the Eagle Ford formation: AEF, BEF, CEF, DEF, and EEF.

The origins of the Pimienta formation date to the Late Jurassic. It is an organic-rich source rock with potential for hydrocarbon production as an unconventional reservoir. Its mineralogical composition exhibits ranges of 20–40% quartz, 25–45% clay, and 20–40% carbonate, with an average TOC range of 3–4%. As of July 2012, one well (AP) had been drilled in the Pimienta formation.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 164545, “Unconventional-Reservoir Development in Mexico: Lessons Learned From the First Exploratory Wells,” by P.A. Parra, N. Rubio, C. Ramirez, B.D. Guerra, V.A. Exler, I.R. Campos, M.D. Trejo, J. Olguin, C.H. Vargas, R. Valbuena, D.F. Soler, M.I. Weimann, V. Lujan, and P. Bonningue, Schlumberger, and P.G. Reyes, R. Martinez, R. Muñoz, E. Rodriguez, and M. Garcia, Pemex, prepared for the 2013 SPE Unconventional Resources Conference—USA, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 10–12 April. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Unconventional-Reservoir Development in Mexico

01 July 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 7

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