The Golden Autumn Tight Gas Block is located in the northwest of the Central Sichuan Basin and covers an area of 4,067 km2. Shell, in partnership with PetroChina, has been appraising the gas potential of the area since 2010. The primary target interval, the Late Triassic Xujiahe Formation, is about 1000m thick, and thickens towards the northwest. It is dominated by alternating sand and shale rich members. From bottom to top, the Xujiahe Formation is separated into six, thick members labeled the Xu1 (T3×1) to Xu5-6 (T3×5-6) respectively. The Xu1, Xu3(T3×3) and Xu5-6 members dominantly comprise coaly and calcareous shales versus the sand dominated Xu2 (T3×2) and Xu4 (T3×4) members.

The Xujiahe Formation is considered a self-charged, over-pressured petroleum system with complicated migration history and complex play types. The major source rocks are dark shales and coals within the Xu1, Xu3 and Xu5-6 members. Reservoirs are tight, discontinuous channelized calcarenite sands in shaley formations (e.g. Xu5-6) and regionally amalgamated, largely continuous, litharenite sands in the Xu2 and Xu4 members.

The Jurassic overburden is about 3000m thick and mainly comprised of red lacustrian mudstones and siltstones. Gas and condensate are present and productive from the Xujiahe formation across the entire block. However, zones with higher WGR and even water satured zones occur in the Xu2 and Xu4 members and are interspersed with drier gas zones. In contrast, minimal water production is observed from reservoir sands in the Xu3 and Xu5-6. This indicates various play types within different zones.

Exploration and Production History:

The Golden Autumn Block covers an area of 4,067 km2 and is located in the northwest of the Sichuan Basin, in the southwest part of the People's Republic of China. Shell and partner PetroChina have been appraising the gas potential of the block under terms of a PSC (production sharing contract) since May 2010. The block itself has been explored and developed since the 1970s. There are twelve PetroChina/Foreign Cooperation wells and sixteen Shell wells drilled into Xujiahe Formation as of November 2012. Prior to commencement of the PSC, the only extensive production history from the Xujiahe Formation was derived from two older PetroChina wells. One well tested the Xu2 and Xu4 members and has produced economic gas (unstimulated) since 1983. The other one tested the Xu4 and Xu5-6 members with higher gas rates plus some condensate (unstimulated) since 2002. As of end November 2012, four Shell wells demonstrated good initial gas production from the Xu5-6 member, two wells have produced at high rates from the Xu3 member, and one well has produced at high rates from the Xu2 member. With the exception of a single test in the ZZ2 well, all wells show poor Xu4 performance, even after fracture stimulation.

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