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


Mar 27, 1995 Mobil Erdgas-Erdol GmbH, a Mobil Corp. unit operating in Germany, has claimed a world depth mark for a horizontal well at a drillsite about 40 miles southwest of Hamburg. Mobil drilled Z-10 Soehlingen to a record 15,688 ft true vertical depth, cutting 2,066 ft of horizontal hole in Permian Rotliegendes tight sand pay. The well went to 18,860 ft measured depth. Mobil also claimed a world depth record for multiple hydraulic fracturing. Stimulation amounted to four frac jobs in the horizontal


Apr 24, 1995 Gary L. Cartwright Marathon Oil Co. Oklahoma City The Cherokee tight gas sands of Oklahoma remain an attractive play because of improvements in drilling and completion practices and actions by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) that allow separate allowables for new wells. The expired federal tax credits for tight gas wells, as highlighted in a recent article,1 have not been the only reason for increased activity.

Impact of production and development RD&D ranked

Oct 30, 1995 Guntis Moritis Production Editor The National Petroleum Council (NPC) survey of the oil and gas industry's research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) needs includes a wide diversity of production and development technologies. The NPC survey put 27 technologies in the production category and 34 in the development category. Deepwater production and development was a separate category with 16 entries. Respondents also wrote in a number of additional technologies not covered in the NPC

Underbalanced operations offer pluses and minuses

Jan 1, 1996 D. Brant Bennion Hycal Energy Research Laboratories Ltd. Calgary Figure 2 (51679 bytes) Figure 3 (52676 bytes) Figure 6 (26965 bytes) Underbalanced drilling, when properly designed and executed, minimizes or eliminates problems associated with the invasion of particulate matter into the formation. Invasion damage often greatly reduces the productivity of oil and gas reservoirs, particularly in open hole horizontal well applications.

Fraced horizontal well shows potential of deep tight gas

Jan 8, 1996 Siegfried Schuler Mobil Erdgas-Erdol GmbH Celle, Germany Rene Santos Mobil Erdgas-Erdol GmbH Hamburg Successful completion of a multiple fraced, deep horizontal well demonstrated new techniques for producing tight gas sands. In Northwest Germany, Mobil Erdgas-Erdol GmbH drilled, cased, and fraced the worlds deepest horizontal well in the ultra-tight Rotliegendes Main sand at 15,687 ft (4,783 m) true vertical depth.

EXPLORATION Study to gauge impact of technology advances

Feb 12, 1996 Robert H. Caldwell James L. Merkel Scotia Group Dallas John Hansen Gas Research Institute Chicago The Gas Research Institute, as part of its Future Gas Resource Evaluation project, is studying the impact of technology advances on maintaining domestic gas supplies.

Arkansas Turbidite Studies May Aid Oklahoma Jackfork Exploration

Aug 18, 1997 During the past 2 years, more than a dozen successful Pennsylvanian Jackfork gas wells have been drilled in eastern Oklahoma, 1 and the play seems ready for expansion if drilling and completion costs can be contained. 2 To date, wells are thought to produce from fractures in highly quartz-cemented, brittle sandstones. However, there is potential for stratigraphic accumulations of gas. 1-3 It is generally agreed that Jackfork Group rocks were deposited mainly as turbidites in the deepwater

Enron Awarded New Onshore PSC in China

Aug 25, 1997 Development stands to advance in one of China's oldest producing areas. China National Petroleum Corp. awarded a production-sharing contract (PSC) to Enron Oil & Gas China Ltd., a unit of Enron Oil & Gas (EOG) Co., Houston. The PSC covers appraisal and potential development of oil and gas reserves underlying Chuanzhong Block in central Sichuan province (see map). Enron holds a 100% interest and will operate the fields on the block, including Jinhua, Gong, and Yingshan oil fields and

Gas production climbs in Wyoming's Waltman field

Sep 1, 1997 Barrett Resources Corp., Denver, was moving in four rigs in mid-August to drill in the Cave Gulch area beneath the Owl Creek thrust in the east-central Wind River basin of Wyoming. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a decision on an environmental impact study of the area in early August, allowing development to resume, Barrett said. Waltman field, which contains the production on the Cave Gulch Unit, is about 50 miles northwest of Casper.


Sep 8, 1997 Gas projects in the Asia-Pacific region are surging forward. ARCO Indonesia has disclosed test results from its Vorwata discovery in the Berau block off Irian Jaya. The find bolsters ARCO's plans for a major LNG project there. Proved plus probable reserves in the field are more than 13 tcf of gas, making it one of the largest gas discoveries in recent years.

Industry Briefs

Oct 13, 1997 Norway's strike by mobile offshore unit workers was ended by the government, which persuaded unions and operators to accept arbitration over a long-running pay dispute. Trans- ocean Offshore Inc., which had three drilling rigs immobilized by the strike, expected its rigs to be fully operational this week. Promix LLC,

North German operator uses learning curve to improve horizontal drilling techniques

Dec 1, 1997 The success of Mobil Erdgas-Erdöl GmbH's (MEEG) first horizontal well, the Siedenburg Z17, has promoted the widespread use of short, ultra-short, and medium-radius drilling technologies in North Germany. This well, drilled in 1990, initiated production at a rate of 17,000 normal cu m/hr (14.5 MMscfd), a six-fold increase compared to a vertical offset. Since then, MEEG has drilled more than 20 horizontal wells in North Germany (Fig. 1 [69,465 bytes] , Fig.2 [140,447 bytes]).

Where future Canadian gas supply will originate

Dec 15, 1997 Natural gas from Canada is becoming an increasingly important component in the North American gas market. Future supplies of natural gas from Canada will come, first, from the Western Canada sedimentary basin and southern Ontario and Quebec ( Fig. 1 [121,867 bytes] , Category A), where all current gas production is obtained and where the producing infrastructure is in place. Secondly, gas will come from the frontier basins in Canada, where gas discoveries have been made but where neither

Permian producers' study targets cost cuts

Jan 12, 1998 Regional Operating Coat Comparison [64,652 bytes] A survey of Texas Permian basin oil and gas producers has revealed operating practices that are ideal targets for cost and efficiency improvements. The in-depth, field-by-field evaluation, performed by Ziff Energy Group, provides a diagnostic tool to identify controllable operating costs and effective solutions. The survey includes production data from almost 200 Permian basin fields in 1995 and 1996. Thirty-seven fields were studied to identify

U.S. gas deliverability, output gap widens

Jan 19, 1998 Lower 48 Gas Monthly Output, Capacity [45,646 bytes] The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that continuing increases in natural gas productive capacity in the U.S. Lower 48 this year will be more than adequate to meet normal production demand. It noted that the largest U.S. gas producing area, the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to meet its historical market share of U.S. production and maintain substantial surplus productive capacity. But EIA said that, beyond 1998, a sufficient

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