Shale Gas Resource Plays

“The shale gas revolution has had a significant impact.  In less than five years, the United States has gone from seeking new sources of gas overseas to being self-sufficient.  For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. has regained the position of being the world’s largest producer of natural gas.”  “Europe is the new frontier in the shale gas rush, and big oil companies see shale as the next big thing.” (The Financial Times Ltd., 8 March and 25 May, 2010).

Oil companies have been placing enormous bets on shale gas and other resource plays.  However, resource plays are not without risk.  Some challenges of resource plays are discussed in the article:  “Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush”, New York Times, 6/25/111. Platte River Associates offers solutions to these challenges:

High Grade Sweet Spots

“…data show that while there are many very active wells, they are often surrounded by vast zones of less-productive wells that in some cases cost more to drill and operate than the gas they produce is worth.” 1

PRA Solution: It is critical to high grade sweet spots in shale gas/liquid plays to ensure profitability.  PRA’s workflow and software focus on defining “sweet spots within a sweet spot”.

Accurate Reserve Estimates

“Reserves are important as they are a central measure of an oil and gas company’s value.” 1

PRA Solution: PRA’s workflow and software generate (highly) realistic and accurate maps of volumes of retained hydrocarbons on which to base reserve estimates.

Optimize Production Conditions

“…the amount of gas produced by many of the successful wells is falling much faster than initially predicted … making it more difficult … to turn a profit over the long run.” 1

PRA Solution: PRA’s Shale Gas Production Model can model production at various locations to determine where the best potential production occurs.  Model parameters can be adjusted to determine optimum production conditions.

Our Unconventional Solutions Suite (Unconventional Resource Module, Bridge and CRS+) allows the explorationist to:

  • assess organic shales as both source rocks and reservoirs,
  • construct multiple models from industry-standard data bases (Petra®, IHS® 297), that are ready for modelling in a matter of minutes; and
  • present findings in a series of Common Risk Segment maps that can be rolled up into one comprehensive map that identifies sweet spots.


Adsorbed Methane

PRA has participated in more than 10 professional presentations in national and international meetings on resource plays.  We are the recipient of the AAPG Energy Minerals Division President’s Certificate for Excellence in Presentation for The Marcellus of New York Through Time, presented at the AAPG 2009 Annual Meeting.  PRA is a member of the Colorado School of Mines Bakken Consortium.