Rystad Energy offers a wide product range of North American shale products (NASAnalysis).
NASReport: Up-to-date play coverage incorporating prospectivity maps, company-specific data, acreage and reserves, production forecasts of plays up to 2025 as well as infrastructure and economics of plays.
NASCube: Database that provides US and Canada shale gas and tight oil plays data for more than 370 companies and 89 plays. Data derives from Rystad Energy’s global and complete upstream database UCube, with additional information regarding acreage and well data.
NASMaps: Geological, company acreage and well location maps. Maps are available as pdf-layers and GIS files with embedded information for import to GIS software.
NASWellData: Listing of official well data for key plays in addition to estimates for average well curves for selected acreages, NOW AVAILABLE in CUBE BROWSER.
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Even though direct extraction of oil and gas from the shale source rock is currently only actively developed in America (United States, Canada and Argentina), other nations have the geological capabilities to develop shale resources too. Rystad Energy has studied the geology and economic conditions for more than 200 known shale formations outside North America.
Most notable exploration results are published in China and Australia. Some shale development efforts have already been reported in Poland, with limited results.
Rystad Energy developed a GIS method to estimate the prospectivity throughout the shale play. This automated method does not attempt to replace expert geologic exploration research, but it brings simplified GIS valuation model, which enables relative comparison of shale play acreage. It observes variation of geological parameters across the plays and determines zones, which are more prospective than others, using the proved analogies from North America shale plays. The GIS valuation model looks for optimal combination of key geological parameters, such as play depth, thermal maturity and thickness, in order to identify play fairways.
The method is further briefly described for the Poland Silurian shale play in the Baltic-Podlasie-Lublin Basin (Figure 1).
The depth of the play continuously increases from 500m below the surface in the northeast to 5,500m in the southwest part of the basin. Based on analogies in North American shale plays, the ideal depth is in the range of 1,500-2,100m (~5,000-7,000 ft.). This ideal depth range receives the highest score in the model. The score of shallower areas will be lower because of possible low deliverability of the formation (lower formation pressure), while deeper areas get lower scores because the wells would become more expensive to drill.
Another key geologic parameter is the thermal maturity of a play, indicated by vitrinite reflectance (%Ro). Scoring in the model is based on price differentiation of different hydrocarbon types. Wet gas/condensate (1.1-1.3 %Ro) window receives the highest score, followed by oil (0.6-1.1 %Ro) and dry gas (>1.3 %Ro) windows. The occurrence of the thermal maturity windows correlates with the play depth in the Poland Silurian shale play, with oil window in the northeast and gas window in the southwest portion of the play.
The third input in the model is the play thickness, where scoring increases continuously with higher isopachs. Poland Silurian shale play is thickest in the northern part – in the Baltic Basin – with a maximum of 60m (~200 ft).
The weighted overlay of these three scored inputs results in the final prospectivity map (Figure 2). The combination of the best scores of play depth, thermal maturity and thickness determines the fairway of the Poland Silurian shale play, with highest prospectivity in the Podlasie Basin and coastline areas of the Baltic Basin.
The described valuation method helps to uncover areas with higher or lower geologic potential for shale development. However, there are plenty of other geologic and non-geologic factors, which can determine the commerciality of unconventional production from shale plays.
One of such factors is topography, where hardly accessible mountain areas, or dense urban areas, may limit development activities significantly. Figure 3 shows an example of Longmaxi shale in Sichuan Basin in China. Northeastern and western areas with relatively high prospectivity are located in mountainous terrain, which prioritizes the prospectivity trends just east of Chongqing city.