Geological aspects on productivity variation along a Marcellus lateral – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

February 16, 2017

The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory (MSEEL) involves a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional team undertaking integrated geoscience, engineering and environmental research in cooperation with the operator, key technology partners and the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the US Department of Energy.  MSEEL has generated an extremely large and diverse (multiple terabyte) dataset that provides significant insight into Marcellus geology and fracture stimulation operations.

During drilling, detailed geomechanical and image logs of the lateral and geochemical analysis of the whole core and sidewall cores were obtained.  This data was coupled with microseismic and slow-slip seismic monitoring, and distributed temperature (DTS) and acoustic (DAS) fiber-optic monitoring during completion.  Understanding discrete fracture networks coupled  with production logging and continued DTS monitoring shows the influence and interaction of both the present stress regime and the numerous preexisting healed fractures in the Marcellus Shale.

The integration and analysis of the comprehensive cluster-by-cluster data contributed to an improved understanding of the effect of stage spacing and cluster density on recovery efficiency in unconventional reservoirs. MSEEL results provide an unprecedented picture of subsurface rock properties, stimulated reservoir volumes, faults and fracture systems.  Overall MSEEL is working to develop and validate new knowledge and technology and identify best practices for field implementation that can optimize hydraulic fracture stimulation and minimize environmental impacts of unconventional resource development.