Tight Gas Sands

Tight Gas Description ImageThe term tight gas sands refers to low-permeability sandstone reservoirs that produce primarily dry natural gas. A tight gas reservoir is one that cannot be produced at economic flow rates or recover economic volumes of gas unless the well is stimulated by a large hydraulic fracture treatment and/or produced using horizontal wellbores. This definition also applies to coalbed methane, shale gas, and tight carbonate reservoirs. Tight sands produce about 6 tcf of gas per year in the United States, about 25% of the total gas produced. The Energy Information Administration estimates that 310 tcf of technically recoverable tight gas exists within the US, representing over 17% of the total recoverable gas. Worldwide, more than 7,400 tcf of natural gas is estimated to be contained within tight sands, with some estimates as large as 30,000 TCF.

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Tight Gas News

NEW IDEAS NEEDED IN BOWEN-SURAT BASINS

Jan 1, 1990 Exploration for petroleum in Queensland began in the Bowen and overlying Surat basins in 1908, according to Lindsay Elliott of CSR Petroleum Ltd. in Brisbane. He noted in a paper in the APEA Journal, 1989, that during the next 50 years, a few small fields were found. The discovery of oil at Moonie in 1961 and a number of gas fields on the Roma shelf during the 1960's triggered extensive seismic and drilling programs. This resulted in additional discoveries and the construction of an oil

METHODOLOGY FOR SELECTING PDC BITS CUTS DRILLING COSTS

Jan 15, 1990 Charles Wampler Enron Oil & Gas Co. Corpus Christi, Tex. Kent Myhre Eastman Christensen Houston A bit-selection methodology proved effective for choosing polycrystalline-diamond-compact (PDC) drill bits in Zapata and Webb counties of South Texas. This program reduced drilling days per well up to 50% compared to wells drilled just 10 years ago. This decrease in drilling and tripping time has typically saved more than 30% of authority for expenditure (AFE) dry hole costs.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Feb 26, 1990 BP is making significant progress on cleanup of the oil spill off Huntington Beach, Calif. (OGJ, Feb. 19, p. 30). It has removed all gross contamination from beaches and all oil from the water. A work force less than one third peak levels at about 300 began fine-polishing cleanup last week.

MORE HORIZONTAL DRILLING PROJECTS SHOW UP

May 7, 1990 U.S. operators are stepping up their horizontal drilling program, targeting more fields and formations. Here's what's happening: Union Pacific Resources Co., Fort Worth, a major Cretaceous Austin chalk participant in the Giddings area of South Texas, plans to drill at least 50 horizontal wells this year in the chalk. UPRC also will drill six or seven horizontal wells in Cretaceous Niobrara in Wyoming and Colorado, where it holds about 1.2 million net acres, and participate in five

PRODUCERS SEEK TO EXTEND GAS TAX CREDITS

May 28, 1990 U.S. producers are pushing for extensions of federal nonconventional gas tax credits. The credits, applied to gas produced from tight formations and other nonconventional sources such as coalbed methane and Devonian shales, are to expire soon. Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association, Washington, D.C., says, "It is our judgment that legislative action on (Internal Revenue Code) Section 29 credits would most likely occur this fall in the context of budget reconciliation. "The schedule could, however,

DEVELOPMENT ECLIPSING EXPLORATION ONSHORE

Jun 4, 1990 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Federal tax credits and horizontal drilling technology are fueling a large slice of onshore development in the U.S. So many profitable development prospects are available that exploratory drilling has sunk to the lowest level in recent years in many areas. Total drilling is picking up a little from 1989. The number of drilling permits issued in March rose 11.1% from February 1990, with the biggest increases in California and Texas. The first quarter figure,

U.S. TO BOOST PRODUCTS TAXES, BOLSTER E&P

Oct 8, 1990 The Bush administration and congressional leaders have agreed on a U.S. deficit cutting plan that would raise the current 9 cents/gal federal gasoline tax to 21 cents/gal by next July 1 and improve the tax climate for exploration and production. Congress now must approve or reject the budget package, which is designed to cut the federal deficit by $40 billion in fiscal 1991 and $500 billion during 5 years. The E&P package, which the administration insisted upon, is the one President Bush

U.S. BRIEFS

Oct 15, 1990 ALL DEFENDANTS in a lawsuit involving alleged price fixing of Wyoming tight sands gas settled with all plaintiffs, including Missouri and Kansas. Occidental Oil & Gas Corp. will pay $13.4 million this year and $11.1 million in 1991, while Amoco Production Co. will pay $16.6 million this year and $13.9 million in 1991. Oxy also agreed to sell 49.5 billion BTU/day, and Amoco 60.5 billion BTU/day, to certain plaintiffs at a premium over spot prices for 20 years. A third defendant, Williams

NEW OPPORTUNITIES SEEN FOR INDEPENDENTS

Oct 22, 1990 Glenn A. Adams Wolverine Exploration Co. Ft. Worth The collapse of gas and oil prices in the mid-1980s significantly reduced the number of independent exploration companies. At the same time, a fundamental shift occurred among major oil companies as they allocated their exploration budgets toward international operations and made major production purchases. Several large independents also embraced a philosophy of budget supplementation through joint venture partnership arrangements.

CONGRESS TRIMS OIL INCENTIVES IN BUDGET BILL

Nov 5, 1990 Before adjourning last week, Congress scaled back tax incentives for oil companies in budget deficit legislation. The final pact will increase the 9cts/gal gasoline tax and 15cts/gal diesel tax each by 5cts/gal effective Dec. 1. The bill gives industry $2.5 billion in tax and production incentives in fiscal 1991-95 vs. $4 billion in the initial budget deficit agreement (OGJ, Oct. 8, 1990, p. 30), which the House rejected.

U.S. E&P TAX INCENTIVES JUDGED INADEQUATE

Nov 19, 1990 About $2.5 billion in energy tax incentives approved by Congress will do little to correct growing U.S. dependence on imported oil, contends Coopers & Lybrand. To reverse the growth of oil imports and move the U.S. toward energy independence would take "substantially more," perhaps $15-20 billion, said John Swords, Coopers & Lybrand's national director of energy taxation. Swords noted that most incentives included in the budget deficit reduction package Congress recently passed (OGJ, Nov.

U.S. DRILLING TO RISE UNLESS OIL PRICES SLUMP

Jan 28, 1991 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor U.S. well completions will post a strong increase in 1991 unless oil prices drop sharply. Gas drilling supported by federal tax credits will remain active in 1991. But the high crude oil prices that revived shallow oil drilling in second half 1990 may not persist. Oil & Gas Journal's latest estimate is that the industry drilled more wells in 1990 than either the 31,700 estimated in January 1990 or the 34,320 forecast in July 1990.

ARKLA EXPLORATION TO DRILL TIGHT SANDS IN EAST TEXAS

Feb 4, 1991 Directors of Arkla Exploration Co., Shreveport, have approved an 80 well, $90 million tight sands drilling program to be conducted in East Texas during the next 2 years. The program is in response to tax reform contained in the recently enacted federal budget bill. When the tight sands program is completed, the company's resulting volumes are expected to account for 1520% of Arkla Exploration's annual gas production.

OHIO OPERATORS SETTING SIGHTS ON OBJECTIVES IN CAMBRIAN, ORDOVICIAN

Feb 4, 1991 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Exploration for gas in rocks of Cambrian and Ordovician age is on the upswing as the Devonian Clinton and Medina tight gas sands play starts to wind down in the Ohio portion of the Appalachian basin. The area's intrepid independent operators refer to the objective formations as Ordovician Trempealeau dolomite, Rose Run sandstone, Copper Ridge dolomite, Knox dolomite, Beekmantown dolomite, and Cambrian Rome and Mount Simon sandstones. Rose Run drilling is

GAS INDUSTRY SLUGGISHNESS SEEN PERSISTING

Feb 25, 1991 The U.S. natural gas market quandary won't go away. Demand growth potential remains huge for what some call the fuel of the future. But prices at the wellhead seem never to get the message. Kenneth L. Lay, chairman and chief executive officer of Enron Corp., has an explanation: predatory pricing by large companies. "I strongly doubt that it has been intentional," he told a Cambridge Energy Research Associates seminar in Houston this month.

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