Deriving a risked development plan for a resource play has typically involved looking at several development scenarios and well counts separately and then tying these together in some form of decision tree approach to come up with the total risked evaluation. This approach often causes problems for the infrastructure and midstream groups as they are asked to provide strategies for various reservoir options that are not easily visualized. A new approach described in this Case Study involves the use of an integrated toolset that allowed for several completely different development scenarios to be analyzed that were based on a risked evaluation of the play. The ease in which the development scenarios are combined allowed the team to quickly determine a range of possible outcomes and clearly understand the medium to long-term capital requirements of the opportunity. The visual nature of the outcome improved the decision makers’ overall understanding of the development.

For this specific South Texas resource play opportunity, the extent of the formation was poorly defined and only seismic and analogy data were available to define a range of possible reservoir characteristics. Based on analogous data, several different potential reservoir production models were defined and the extent of the reservoir estimated. These assumptions were then turned into various realizable development options including their economic values.

The process and workflow of how the production options were turned into economic models is the focus of this paper. By creating a network flow diagram of the options, decision makers were able to better understand the range of possible outcomes; including the capital and infrastructure requirements of the options. This approach significantly improved the communication with the team and significantly reduced the development option preparation time. By facilitating more engaged discussions around the development options, the entire team was able to better evaluate the opportunity and the capital requirements. Although this was a relatively small opportunity (9 wells maximum), the same approach is equally applicable to the major unconventional resources being developed worldwide.

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