This study focuses on natural gas occurrences and reservoir characterization in the assessment of the production potential in the Piceance Creek Basin (Garfield County, Colorado). This Basin has reservoirs with lenticular sands that are characterized as having low porosities, low permeabilities, and relatively high water saturations. One such horizon is the Mesaverde Group which consists of discontinuous sandstone lenses distributed within a shale matrix, and is present throughout the Piceance Creek Basin. Prior studies of the commercial Rulison Field located in the southcentral portion of the Basin in Garfield County indicated that compressional forces created an anticlinal nose aligned northwest to southeast through part of the field; these forces created a conductive natural fracture system that enhances the permeability of the Mesaverde. This paper shows a relationship between the Rulison Field and an area south of Rulison, which encompasses approximately 36 square miles (93.2 km2). The area has been sparsely drilled to date (averaging one well per two sections and nonuniformly spaced); thus, the possibility exists for further commercial development through infill drilling. The southern Rulison area is characterized in structure, percent sand, and critical reservoir parameters including permeability. Production rates, cumulative gas production, and drilling and completion data are used to infer permeabilities by history matching, using a dual porosity, dual permeability reservoir simulator. Results include a reservoir description of the area with economic evaluations of several investment scenarios in order to assess the economic feasibility of exploiting the potential resource.

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