Abstract

Shell China, in partnership with PetroChina Southwest, began exploration of the Fushun Shale Gas Block, completing its first wells in 2011. A campaign was designed to acquire subsurface data in the exploration campaign to assess the Lower Longmaxi Hot Shale interval with an end goal of assessing the feasibility of a shale gas field development in the block. As part of the first phase of the exploration campaign, two vertical wells were drilled and completed followed by three horizontal wells.

Over the execution of the first two vertical wells significant performance improvement was achieved by the service contractors involved in the project, resulting in decreased Non Productive Time (NPT). Significant preparation was conducted in order to prepare both local and international contractors for the horizontal wells in the campaign. In order to deliver the horizontal completions in an efficient manner, the Fushun team implemented learnings gained through similar projects in North America. Preparation for the horizontal well campaign included arrangement of the source water with the local community, ordering new equipment capable of completing the work, cross-posting of service contractors to unconventional assets in the U.S., and movement of experienced site-supervisors to support the Fushun project. The fracture design was also improved on each well in the campaign delivering more proppant per stage, key towards optimizing hydraulic fracturing and maximizing production potential.

Through the initial phase of exploration activities, a shale gas play in the Fushun Block has been confirmed. Operational challenges and technical learnings that were experienced in the initial exploration wells will be carried into the next phase of appraisal.

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