This paper presents an overview of the Gas Research Institute's (GRI's) Comprehensive Study Well (CSW) program in the Devonian Shales of the Appalachian Basin. Initiated in mid-1987, the CSW program is a planned series of highly instrumented study wells drilled in cooperation with industry partners. Extensive data are being collected and special experiments are being conducted on each CSW with the objectives of identifying geologic production controls, refining formation evaluation tools, and improving stimulation practices in the Devonian Shales. The focus of stimulation research in the CSW program is on pumping larger treatments carrying more sand at higher concentrations, developing an optimal fluid system for the Devonian Shales, and improving quality control.

This paper reviews the progress of the CSW program thus far and focuses particularly on the CSW No. 2 in Calhoun County, WV, which is the well studied most completely to date. The fracture treatment pumped on the CSW No. 2 demonstrates that large, high sand concentration treatments can be pumped successfully in the Devonian Shales; however, optimizing the fracturing fluid system and improving liquid cleanup remain important unsolved problems requiring additional study.

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