The Spring 2010 Graduate drilling class at Texas A&M has a team challenge to develop Environmentally Friendly Drilling programs for a group of frontier unconventional gas plays. Each of these plays represents significant natural gas resources and each has unique environmental challenges that must be met before those resources can be booked as reserves. Overview of gas shales can be found as attachments below.
Frontier Plays – Evaluated
A copy of Brian Smith's report on the EFD studies for the Eagle Ford Shale was added to this site (April 12, 2010). See below to read a copy of "EFD Report 2"
Daniel Yergin and Robert Ineson of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) call it America's Natural Gas Revolution. They classify it as "the biggest energy innovation of the decade—more specifically unconventional natural gas. Some call it a revolution. Yet the natural gas revolution has unfolded with no great fanfare, no grand opening ceremony, no ribbon cutting. It just crept up. In 1990, unconventional gas—from shales, coal-bed methane and so-called "tight" formations—was about 10% of total U.S. production. Today it is around 40%, and growing fast, with shale gas by far the biggest part." (See article below).
Yet these resources can not be unlocked without answering the riddle of how to access them without harming the environment.
The Team Challenge is to utilize Environmentally Friendly Drilling Technology to reduce the impact of development i.e.
Small footprint rigs (low emissions, modular, third generation light weight super singles)
Closed-loop mud systems,
Horizontal drilling-multistage hydraulic fracturing,
Frac flowback and produced brine treatment and re-use
Because of the intense public scrutiny of energy development in the frontier gas basins, a company will have to use advanced water management techniques to develop their leases to avoid the high cost of transporting water by truck to the well site. Because of the landowner’s concerns and lease contract requirements they will also have to employ low footprint (site access, well site) and low emissions (light weight rig) technology to drill the well. The assignment is to prepare a well plan and an AFE for management’s approval for this well, one of five in your company’s portfolio.
Systems Engineering Models
The EFD program has funded the development of a systems engineering model to assist asset managers plan well designs that incorporate low impact technology.
Go to the Systems Engineering Model site in the Web links window
Or link to the following sites.
There are four links for the applications as below:
Ok-Youn Yu, PhD, PE
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Zachry Department of Civil Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3136
David Burnett, Texas A&M University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rich Haut, Houston Advanced Research Center, email@example.com
Tom Williams, TerraPlatforms, L.L.C., firstname.lastname@example.org