374517 A Comparison of US Shale Plays with Emerging Non-Marine Shale Plays in Australia

Monday, November 17, 2014: 12:48 PM
M301 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Stefaan J. R. Simons, Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom; UCL Australia, University College London, Adelaide, Australia, Navinda de Silva, International Energy Policy Institute, UCL Australia, Adelaide, Australia and Paul Stevens, Royal Institution of International Affairs, London, United Kingdom

The geological and petrophysical parameters are critical in evaluating the production potential of prospective shale gas plays and their economic viability for commercial development. However, based on the US experience, these characteristics can vary widely. Furthermore, the non-marine shale plays of the Cooper Basin, South Australia are distinctively different from the marine shale plays in the US. Non-marine shale may consist of higher clay content that may be less responsive to hydraulic fracturing due to the increased ductility. Conversely, the availability of sufficient amounts of quartz and siderite may counteract this effect and maintain brittleness. In this study, the mineral, total organic and gas content, thermal maturity, Poisson’s ratio and Young’s modulus data obtained from the Roseneath and Murteree formations of the Cooper Basin have been compared with US shale formations. The results show that the formations compare well in terms of thickness, gas content, thermal maturity, Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio, but not in clay mineral content, total organic content, permeability and formation temperature. To determine whether such plays are economically viable will require technical, as well as economic, analysis of the hydraulic fracturing process, including the potential for horizontal drilling and multi-well pads. A shale play that has unfavourable prospects may have upfront infrastructure and major capital costs that outweigh the potential receipts from gas production.

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See more of this Session: Unconventionals: Shale Gas, LNG, CNG, LPG
See more of this Group/Topical: Fuels and Petrochemicals Division