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

JET-ASSISTED DRILLING NEARS COMMERCIAL USE

Mar 11, 1991 Mike Cure Grace Drilling Co. Dallas Pete Fontana FlowDril Corp. Kent, Wash. Recent changes in a high-pressure, jet-assisted drilling system have been successfully tested in several East Texas wells. These encouraging results will help move the system from the test stage into commercial application. The higher the formation angle or the harder the rock, the better the test for the high-pressure, jet-assisted (Fig. 1) drilling system. Grace/FlowDril, a joint venture between Grace Drilling of

SPEARS TRIMS FORECAST OF U.S. DRILLING ACTIVITY

Apr 1, 1991 Forecasts of 1991 U.S. drilling activity continue to slide as oil markets shed their jitters in the wake of a very short Persian Gulf ground war. In its quarterly review late last month, Spears & Associates Inc., Tulsa, cut its projected U.S. average rig count for this year to 960. In its previous quarterly forecast, Spears expected the 1991 rig count to average 1,050. Baker Hughes Inc. earlier trimmed its predicted average of U.S. active rigs to 1,104, while Salomon Bros. forecast 1,060 (OGJ,

WEAK DEMAND, SUPPLY GLUT CRIMPING U.S. GAS INDUSTRY

Apr 22, 1991 One of the warmest winters on record has kept the U.S. natural gas industry in doldrums. Unseasonably high temperatures during winter 1990-91 kept U.S. gas demand flat while supplies increased. Industrial gas demand already was lagging heading into last winter because of the economic recession. And the supply/demand balance worsened as gas storage use remained high while production and deliverability rose.

U.S. BRIEFS

May 20, 1991 DOW CHEMICAL CO. plans to build a $100 million, 20 acre wastewater treatment unit at its Freeport, Tex., petrochemical complex. To consist of 22 aboveground, 1 million gal plus capacity steel tanks, the treatment unit has an estimated completion date in first quarter 1994. DELPHIA OIL TANKER ran aground in Weymouth Four River off Massachusetts near Boston May 3, spilling about 100 bbl of No. 2 fuel oil. The 610 ft Liberian flag tanker was on its way to a Citgo products terminal when it

HORIZONTAL WELL WILL BE EMPLOYED IN HYDRAULIC FRACTURING RESEARCH

May 20, 1991 A new 10-well research site is planned to enable more controlled experiments for better definition of hydraulic fracturing. One of the 10 wells will be a near-horizontal well that will monitor microseismic events along its length. The Gas Research Institute (GRI) has begun evaluating a low-permeability, gas-bearing sandstone as the target stratum for experiments to be conducted at its hydraulic fracture test site (HFTS). During a 4-year period, GRI will use the HFTS as a field laboratory to

WRITEDOWNS, SOFT GAS MARKETS TRIM PROFITS OF OGJ INDEPENDENTS' GROUP

Jun 3, 1991 Bob Williams Associate Managing Editor-News Joan Bonfield Biggs Statistics Editor A widely expected rise in 1990 profits stemming from a runup in oil prices did not happen for the group of 50 U.S. independent oil and gas companies the Oil & Gas Journal tracks. Instead, a string of special charges spurred big losses for a number of companies. In addition, an unexpectedly weak natural gas market also helped dampen upstream earnings for independents with reserves portfolios dominated by gas.

TIGHT GAS SAND TAX CREDIT YIELDS OPPORTUNITIES

Jun 24, 1991 Frank W. Lewis Petroleum Management Systems Del City, Okla. Ann S. Osburn Certified public accountant Norman, Okla. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Apr. 1, 1991, released the inflation adjustments used in the calculations of Non-Conventional Fuel Tax Credits for 1990.1 The inflation adjustment, 1.6730, when applied to the base price of $3/bbl of oil equivalent, adjusts the tax credit to $5.019/bbl for oil and 86.53/MMBTU for gas. The conversion factor for equivalent fuels is 5.8 MMBTU/bbl.

U.S. BRIEFS

Jul 1, 1991 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY seeks $525,000 in penalties from Mobil Oil Corp. for allegedly failing to notify appropriate agencies after three releases of hazardous materials from its Paulsboro, N.J., refinery during 1989 and 1990. EPA said Mobil didn't immediately notify them of a 2,900 lb release of sulfur dioxide Sept. 26, 1989, 2,200 lb of hydrogen sulfide Dec. 4, 1989, and 450 lb Of SO2 Mar. 12, 1990. Mobil plans to meet with EPA July 3 to point out errors in the complaint.

WATER-PACKING TECHNIQUES SUCCESSFUL IN GRAVEL PACKING HIGH-ANGLE WELLS

Jul 8, 1991 Douglas J. Wilson, Mark F. Barrilleaux Exxon Co. U.S.A. New Orleans Prepacking and waterpacking techniques were successful in gravel packing the long, highly deviated completion intervals (up to 445 ft at angles approaching 70) in the wells on the Lena guyed tower, located in the Gulf of Mexico. During 8 rig-years of operations, these techniques were used for both single and multizone completions. While some operators consider this technology antiquated, field experience at Lena demonstrates

SECOND HALF WORK TO BOOST 1991 DRILLING IN THE U.S.

Jul 29, 1991 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor U.S. well completions in 1991 will increase about 8% compared with 1990 if operators stick with present spending plans during the second half. Operators are expected to realize $76.4 billion in wellhead revenues this year, 10.7% less than the 1990 estimate. However, they are expected to invest a larger share of those revenues in drilling this year than they did in 1990. With less than half the year remaining, here is Oil & Gas Journal's updated look at

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Aug 12, 1991 Just how bad will the natural gas bust get? More reports of reduced earnings, slashed budgets, and restructurings crop up in the wake of the lowest North American gas prices in years. John S. Herold Inc., Greenwich, Conn., expects U.S. gas prices to hit a 12 year low in 1991 and projects a bleaker outlook for Canadian gas prices. Its survey of 137 U.S. gas producers and 59 Canadian producers found 1990 U.S. gas prices rose 1% from 1989 with a weighted average of $1.76/Mcf. Average U.S. gas

JOFREE SEES CONTINUED LOW U.S. GAS PRICES

Sep 2, 1991 U.S. wellhead gas prices will remain low through 1996, Jofree Corp., Houston, predicts. While U.S. demand for gas has increased about 2% since 1989, Jofree says gas supply has increased about 8-9%. "That abundance will dampen gas prices for at least the next couple of years," Jofree Principal Carol Freedenthal said. "Gas markets will improve during the next 3 years but only slightly. "New transportation projects in the Rocky Mountains, new import capability, and incentive driven coalbed methane

MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE A VIEW OF GAS PRICE FORECASTS

Sep 2, 1991 Phillip A. Ellis Vice-President Booz*Allen & Hamilton Dallas This is the first of occasional articles on petroleum management issues. This is an anxious time for production and transportation of natural gas in North America. Prices have tumbled to a level that is causing serious stress in the industry. Columbia Gas is the most notable example of a player that has reached the breaking point, and other company crises are certain to occur upstream and downstream.

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT STRATEGY OFFERED FOR PRODUCING PROPERTIES

Oct 7, 1991 David A.B. Brown The Windsor Group Inc. Boston Domestic independents are too often the forgotten participants of the U.S. exploration and production industry. As a group, they are diverse in character and culture and differ greatly from the more visible integrated domestic and international producers. Independents are frequently companies of scale, with the 30 largest accounting for $7.5 billion in annual revenues. They often lack the more formalized financial, planning, and control systems

ENRON SEES MAJOR INCREASES IN U.S. GAS SUPPLY, DEMAND

Oct 7, 1991 Margaret M. Carson, Bruce Stram Enron Corp. Houston Enron Corp., Houston, in an extensive study of U.S. natural-gas supply and demand through the year 2000, has found that the U.S. gas-resource base is 1,200 tcf. Despite current weaknesses in natural-gas prices, demand growth will be strong although affected by oil-price assumptions. Highlights in the areas of reserves and production include gains in both categories in the Rockies/Wyoming, San Juan basin, and Norphlet trends (offshore Alabama).

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