For any resource play, quantifying production potential is key when transiting from exploration phase to development phase. In a self-sourcing environment, a host of reservoir properties such as clay type, mineral content, organic content, fluid saturations, pore pressure, texture, source, storage, mobility, natural fractures and structural features, defines the quality of the reservoir. Recently several published articles alluded to this fact and the term reservoir quality is loosely defined, vague or contradicting.

In evaluating the success of an unconventional reservoir, this paper segregates the reservoir properties into two main categories. Reservoir quality (RQ) is defined by the combination of rock properties leading to hydrocarbon storage and producibility, including hydrocarbon-filled porosity, effective permeability, organic content, and pore pressure. Completion quality (CQ) is defined by the combination of rock properties leading to fracture surface area contacting the reservoir during production, including rock mechanical properties that will impact fracture containment, fracture complexity, retention of fracture area, and retention of fracture conductivity.

This paper assesses each parameter thoroughly and rationalizes their impact and importance. A case study using a comprehensive data set is published here to support and understand the importance of reservoir quality, along with its utilization for selective grading of prospective locations. This paper concludes a detailed workflow for determining key parameters in defining reservoir quality towards a successful shale gas play development and its exploitation.

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