Wilrich Member

Reconnaissance and Regional Study
Reservoir Characterization, Completion and Production Properties

Numerous oil and gas companies in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin are directing their efforts toward the exploration and exploitation of gas and liquids-rich gas from the sandstone and siltstone of the Wilrich Member in the Lower Cretaceous Spirit River Formation. The Wilrich play ranks as one of the most economic natural gas plays in North America. Core Lab has been conducting highly successful joint industry projects evaluating analogous tight reservoirs for over 20 years.

Several companies have cored and evaluated the Wilrich potential on their leases over the years, with a marked increase in interest the last year. In order to properly evaluate and exploit this target, 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 and reduce finding and development costs.

Project Objectives

The primary objective of this project is to provide operators with measured geological, petrophysical, geomechanical, geochemical, and production properties of the Wilrich section 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. Specifically, the project objectives are as follows:

  • Geologically characterize the cored intervals in terms of depositional facies, environment of deposition, and rock types.
  • Characterize and classify the Wilrich Member 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 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 potential “pay” zones for stimulation.
  • Integrate the core data with well logs, fracture stimulation techniques, and production test results to aid companies in their evaluation and exploitation of the reservoirs.
  • Provide a regional assessment of the various reservoir attributes to aid in exploration and exploitation.
  • Develop relationships from the database to aid in evaluating and comparing the various rock properties.
  • Provide operators with a searchable database for reservoir properties that can be used as analogs to aid in the appraisal and exploitation of new areas as the play expands.