This paper presents a study on the impact of reservoir characteristics such as matrix porosity, matrix permeability, initial reservoir pressure and pay thickness as well as the length and the orientation of horizontal wells on gas production in New Albany Shale.

The study was conducted using a publicly available numerical model, specifically developed to simulate gas production from naturally fractured reservoirs. Reasons for selecting a non-commercial simulator for this study were two folds. First, we wanted to make sure that our results, discussions, and conclusions are accessible and repeatable by all interested operators and individuals that are currently producing or plan to produce from New Albany Shale since the simulator we used is readily available. Secondly, we wanted to demonstrate the utility and ease of use of this publicly available simulation software.

The study focuses on several New Albany Shale wells in Western Kentucky. Production from these wells is analyzed and history matched. During the history matching process, natural fracture length, density and orientations as well as fracture bedding of the New Albany Shale are modeled using information found in the literature and outcrops and by performing sensitivity analysis on key reservoir and fracture parameters.

Sensitivity analyses are performed to identify the impact of reservoir characteristics and natural fracture aperture, density and length on gas production. Economic analyses are performed to identify and rank the impact of the above parameters on the Net Present Value of investing on gas wells producing from New Albany Shale.

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