Development of CBM in the Horseshoe Canyon (HSC) has exploded since its commerciality was first demonstrated in 2003. To date over 15,000 wells have been drilled and are producing from HSC coals. Quicksilver's development has been steady with approximately 1800 wells drilled and brought on-line between 2003 and 2009, and today operates 17 development pods located throughout the HSC fairway. This case study overviews Quicksilver's learnings and experiences from these activities including various aspects of geological and resource assessment, development tactics and recovery optimization, and presents practical datasets for appropriate management of the resource.

Geological investigation has been an important factor right from the outset of this play's development. Many initial concepts have been challenged and subsequent production data often shows discordant relationships with geological parameters used to calculate net pay, depth, and subsequently the OGIP. Water production trends, gas rate variability, anomalous seam contributions, nonlinear pressure gradients, and variable permeabilities are discussed within this case study and the challenges that they present.

As development unfolds, production data has increasingly become a key factor in understanding these unconventional reservoirs, and is variable between areas and even within the development pods / areas themselves. Despite the variability, trends have been identified using production indicators and forecasts. A statistical approach is used to examine these trends, and in conjunction with the geology / resource characterization is enabling improved management decisions for optimal development. In particular variable density drilling, ranging from 2 wells per section to 8 wells per section, as well as various pilot higher density projects, is examined closely and provides valuable information from a reservoir development and optimization perspective. Impacts of sands completions as an add-on to the primary CBM target are also investigated.

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