The Spring Gully coal seam gas (CSG) field, operated by Origin Energy on behalf of Australia Pacific LNG, is located in the southern region of the Bowen Basin. Commercial production commenced in 2005 from the Late Permian Bandana coal seams. This paper describes the reservoir characterisation methodology employed to history match geologically unique regions of the Spring Gully field and to understand production mechanisms across the field. In addition, the paper presents a detailed discussion on how learnings from the developed region of the field has been applied to characterise the future development regions of the field for forecasting.

The Spring Gully CSG field exhibits a large degree of localized heterogeneity and extensive regional geological variability. Strong gas productivity and rapid water gas ratio decline have been observed in the north-eastern region of the field. While in the western portion of the field there exists moderate gas productivity and minimal water decline. A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluation of the Spring Gully CSG field reservoir and production characteristics was performed in 2014. A reservoir simulation model has been constructed based on a number of geological and reservoir characterisation studies, combined with reservoir inputs and production analysis. The integrated subsurface model forms the basis to understand Spring Gully CSG field production mechanisms and ultimately to perform production forecasts for reserve and resource estimates, for ongoing reservoir management needs and appropriately size gas and water treatment facilities.

A novel approach of constructing the permeability and porosity distribution in the reservoir model was implemented. Historical well peak water and gas rate, rig testing water rate and welltest-derived permeability were used to construct the permeability distribution in the model. The permeability distribution was transformed to porosity distribution. The faulting and compartmentalisation were introduced in the north-eastern region of Spring Gully reservoir model during the history match stage to match the rapid decline of reservoir pressure. The learnings obtained from studying well production mechanisms and model history matching were subsequently applied to the undeveloped regions of the field. Extensive validation and quality control of forecast methodology, forecast parameters assumptions and life-of-field production forecasting were performed.

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