Tight gas is becoming an increasingly important asset for petroleum companies. Proper reservoir evaluation and development planning is critical to the success of a tight gas play. To date, the "best practices" for evaluating tight gas performance have not been well defined, and many companies use unreliable or unnecessary methods. As a result, analysts commonly misinterpret (and incorrectly book) tight gas reserves. Furthermore, the development of tight gas reservoirs is often conducted inefficiently, either through over-capitalization (too many wells, too quickly) or ineffective recovery (overly sparse spacing).

This paper presents a straight forward and technically sound approach for evaluating and planning the development of tight gas reservoirs. The critical step in the process is proper identification of the dominant reservoir flow regime. Without this step, we cannot choose the correct analysis plot to use. The techniques detailed in this paper are designed for production data sets ranging from about 3 months and upward. The reservoir and production characteristics (permeability, xf, flow regime) are determined using pressure/rate transient analysis, as are the drainage region and its expansion rate. The resulting model predicts well performance and the rate of increase of accessible recovery over time. Superposition of the appropriate economic model and well constraints allows the analyst to identify a practical range of EUR values that is more reliable than that provided by conventional decline curves. This process can be applied to reserve evaluation as well as optimizing well spacing in the reservoir. The analysis is performed through interpretation of a diagnostic plot paired with an appropriate recovery plot (using well constraints and economics). It is validated using simulated and field examples.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.