VAS identified high- productivity zones in Niobrara shale play
An operator producing from the Niobrara shale formation needed to identify the optimal landing targets for planned laterals to increase well production.
The operator had drilled several wells in the Niobrara C zone that were successful due to the zone’s high mechanical rock strength. The Niobrara A and B zones were considered potential producers, but at a higher risk for hydraulic fracturing because of their perceived lower mechanical strength.
The operator needed to evaluate the producability of both the A and B zones, but the cost of conventional core evaluation was considered uneconomical. Normal X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses showed high clay content, which indicated high-risk, low-mechanical rock strength.
The Volatiles Analysis Service (VAS) reservoir characterization from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), was used for evaluating “sealed-at-the-well” shale cuttings. VAS service provides a cost-effective, non-invasive formation evaluation log generated from drill cuttings or core plugs to identify pay intervals and characterize hydrocarbon zones. VAS has also proven to be a successful measurement for assessing the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of oil in the well.
Download the PDF to read the full case study.