Duvernay Regional Study

Reservoir Characterization and Production Properties

Currently, numerous oil and gas companies are directing their efforts toward the exploration and exploitation of the Duvernay Shale following extensive lease sales in 2010. Many companies are beginning pilot programs to acquire core, logs, and conduct preliminary stimulation operations. Companies either do not have or have limited rock property data that are crucial for understanding this potential reservoir. Therefore, in order to properly evaluate and explore the Duvernay Shale, appropriate types of rock property data need to be measured and integrated with log data, stimulation techniques, and production test information. These integrated data sets and case histories will provide operators with the critical parameters to optimize their exploitation of the Duvernay Shale and reduce finding and development costs.

The primary objective of this project is to provide operators with measured geological, petrophysical, geomechanical, geochemical, and production properties of the Duvernay Shale in order to improve their formation evaluation and to optimize stimulation and production. Our work suggests that understanding the similarities and differences in the section on a regional basis is the key to successful exploration and exploitation. The resultant database will be an invaluable tool to operators in evaluating, comparing, and designing completion and stimulation methods for the Duvernay Shale. Specifically, the project objectives are as follows:

  • Geologically characterize the Duvernay Shale in terms of depositional facies, environment of deposition, and rock types.
  • Characterize and classify the Duvernay Shale in terms of lithology, mineralogy, clay content, clay types, and pore structure including macro- and micro-fractures.
  • Measure the various petrophysical properties such as porosity, permeability, grain density, and saturations (i.e. water saturation, gas saturation, oil saturation, hydrocarbon filled porosity and bound water).
  • Measure and characterize the organic content of the mudstones in terms of total organic content (TOC), Rock Eval pyrolysis, and vitrinite reflectance.
  • Measure the key geomechanical properties that are required for optimizing fracture designs and/or horizontal wells such as Young’s Modulus, Poisson’s Ratio, Bulk Modulus, horizontal stress, and proppant embedment.
  • Determine rock-fluid compatibility and fracture conductivity of proppant and fluid-carrier systems in support of hydraulic fracture stimulation.
  • Core-log calibration of open-hole logs for the development of petrophysical models to determine Duvernay Shale properties.
  • Integrate the core data with well logs, fracture stimulation techniques, and production test results to aid companies in their evaluation and exploitation of Duvernay Shale reservoirs.
  • Provide a regional assessment of the Duvernay Shale to aid in exploration and exploitation.
  • Develop relationships from the database to aid in evaluating and comparing the various Duvernay Shale rock properties.
  • Develop a “Duvernay Shale Rock Catalog” in order to aid in the evaluation of reservoir properties from drill cuttings and logs.
  • Provide operators with a searchable database for Duvernay Shale properties that can be used as analogs to aid in the appraisal and exploitation of “unknown or newly discovered” Duvernay Shale reservoirs.