Exploration and Appraisal of Unconventional gas, in remote areas, brings with it a variety of challenges; which are not normally encountered in established development areas such as North America. These challenges include, higher cost(s), logistical issues, lack of existing infra-structure, limited well numbers to name but a few. This paper will describe some of the important considerations, technology choices and approaches that can be considered in order to optimise such a remote Exploration and Appraisal programme.

There are a number of considerations, selections, choices and decisions to be made for an Exploration and Appraisal programme, which can significantly affect the results and outcome when performed in a remote environment. For example, vertical vs. horizontal wells, lower completion technology, stimulation approaches and data gathering choices. Due to a number of unique conditions in remote locations, the optimum decisions are not always obvious, nor always reflect typical practices in established areas and this paper will describe the rationale behind this and the appropriate considerations for various Drilling and Completion aspects.

The author will describe, options, considerations and decision making processes based on experience from recent case histories from a number of world-wide Exploration and Appraisal operations in unconventional gas. The paper will attempt to indicate the relative importance and value associated with these decisions and their impact on the potential success of an Exploration and Appraisal programme.

Unconventional gas Exploration and Appraisal programmes can be challenging to progress in established areas; and this can be compounded by several orders of magnitude when operating in a remote environment. The requirements for establishing unconventional resource assessment can be somewhat different to conventional approaches and an Appraisal programme should take this into account. This paper summarises a number of key lessons learned from a worldwide selection of Unconventional operations and distils them into a philosophy that promotes and encourages success.

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