Abstract

Non conventional gas resources of the world are highly variable and challenging, but they share many attributes that technology and operational efficiencies can address for sustainable economic development. With the addition of XTO Energy, ExxonMobil is now the largest producer of natural gas in North America with extensive positions in tight gas, shale gas, and coal bed methane plays in the USA, Canada, Argentina, Europe and Asia. Non conventional gas developments onshore are drilling-intensive operations because individual wells cannot produce large parts of the reservoir due to limited permeability. Operational efficiencies gained through experience drilling thousands of non conventional and horizontal wells safely, with an industry-leading cost structure, and a relentless drive to improve and experiment, lead to efficient growth of production. To continue innovation, ExxonMobil's research starts with a fundamental understanding of the subsurface and the technologies needed to exploit that understanding. New drilling technologies for reducing vibration, increasing rate of penetration and hole stability promise efficiency gains. New completions methods, including Multi-zone Stimulation Technology to efficiently stimulate thick pay sections, avoid water, and produce the best reservoirs, are a key enabler. In shale gas plays, organic-rich rock is source for the gas and understanding distribution and character of these rocks lead to prediction of the best reservoir. Decades of research on depositional controls, subsurface imaging technology, geomechanic descriptions of how the rocks fracture, and new nanometer-scale investigation of pore networks improves our understanding and predictive capabilities. ExxonMobil's commitment to operational integrity allows development of resources in environmentally sensitive areas. Multi-well pad drilling reduces environmental footprint and protects shallow aquifers. Above all, these developments must be done safely, requiring management systems and a culture of safety to govern all operations. ExxonMobil's safety record leads industry and demonstrates our concern for our people and the communities in which we operate.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.