Unconventional Reservoir Development in Mexico: Lessons Learned From the First Exploratory Wells
- Pablo Alejandro Parra (Schlumberger) | Nelly Rubio (Schlumberger) | Carlos Ramirez (Schlumberger) | Belkys Del Valle Guerra (Schlumberger) | Victor Ariel Exler (Schlumberger) | Israel Reyes Campos (Schlumberger) | Maria Del Carmen Trejo (Schlumberger) | Jose Olguin (Schlumberger) | Carlos Hernan Vargas (Schlumberger) | Ricardo Valbuena (Schlumberger) | Diego Fernando Soler (Schlumberger) | Mauro Ivan Weimann (Schlumberger) | Violeta Lujan (Schlumberger) | Pierre Bonningue (Schlumberger) | Placido Gerardo Reyes (Pemex) | Ricardo Martinez (Pemex) | Rogelio S. Munoz (Pemex) | Eduardo Rodriguez (Pemex) | Marco Garcia (Pemex)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Unconventional Resources Conference-USA, 10-12 April, The Woodlands, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.4 Scale, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3.3.1 Production Logging, 1.12.2 Logging While Drilling, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 1.6.7 Geosteering / Reservoir Navigation, 5.5.8 History Matching, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 5.8.4 Shale Oil, 3.3.2 Borehole Imaging and Wellbore Seismic, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.2.2 Geomechanics, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 2 Well Completion, 2.5.1 Fracture design and containment, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.2.3 Rock properties
- Completion, Fracturing, Unconventional, Exploration, Shale
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Lately, the United States of America has experienced tremendous growth in shale plays development. To date, more than 5,000 wells have been drilled and completed in more than 20 fields. Worldwide, exploration and development of shale plays has also increased. Currently, due to low gas prices, operating companies are shifting resources to explore and develop condensate or oil producing shale plays. In 2010, exploration of gas-rich and possible liquid-rich shale reservoirs began in northern Mexico. The main challenges were to demonstrate the availability of reserves and set the foundation for future development of these plays, with the information gathered in a few exploratory wells. Wells were aimed at the upper cretaceous Eagle Ford formation and at the Jurassic Pimienta formation. As of July 2012, six horizontal exploratory wells were drilled and completed, implementing in four of them a two stage integrated workflow to achieve the objectives set.
The drilling stage used a petrophysical and geomechanical static model to identify the most prospective interval in the reservoir, define the best drilling azimuth direction and landing point, and reduce drilling risk. Real-time geosteering was implemented to achieve the targeted navigation window. In the completion stage, a reservoir-centric completion and stimulation software, which integrates petrophysical and geomechanical data, was used to optimize the completion and stimulation design. Results were evaluated using various techniques, including micro seismic monitoring, production history matching, production logging and well testing.
This study presents the details of the workflow implemented and the lessons learned in each well. The main lessons learned were: 1. Proper well landing was key to achieving predicted production and booking of reserves; 2. Anisotropic geomechanical models were the most appropriate for simulating hydraulic fracturing treatments; 3. Conventional hydraulic fracturing models do not always represent the behavior of fractures in the unconventional formations evaluated; 4. Production rates along the lateral of the well can vary significantly with single stages producing up to 20% of the total well production.
The conclusions and lessons learned in this study have formed the bases and will be important to the subsequent development of the different shale plays in Mexico—and around the world.
During recent years North America has experienced a tremendous growth in Shale Gas/Oil plays development with over 5,000 wells already drilled in more than 20 fields. Recently, Mexico has also moved in this direction. In 2010, exploration of gas-rich and possible liquid-rich shale reservoirs began in northern Mexico. The initial target formation was the Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford, a play that has seen a lot of drilling activity in the other side of the border, in the south of Texas. The second formation targeted was a Jurassic formation locally called Pimienta. As of middle of 2012, five wells had been completed in the Eagle Ford formation and one well had been completed in the Pimienta formation. In order to demonstrate the availability of reserves and set the foundation for future development of these plays, a two stage integrated workflow was implemented. This study gives an overview of the range of formation properties that were present on these wells and focuses mainly in the methodology, results and lessons learned from four of the six wells completed, in which at least one of the stages of this workflow was applied and it is a clear view that the development of these reservoirs requires more than a horizontal well and a hydraulic fracturing completion. It involves several disciplines working together for a common goal, to obtain the highest production possible from the unconventional reservoirs.
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