The second international ShaleScience conference has begun in Warsaw. Scientists and experts from around the world are discussing the quality parameters of rock formations containing shale gas, as well as the possibilities of improving the process of hydrocarbon extraction. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has taken part in the opening of the event.
The second ShaleScience conference entitled “Developing the Mental Picture of Reservoir Quality and Completion Quality for Tight Shales” is taking place on May 16th–17th 2012 in the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. The conference has been organised by ORLEN Upstream, Energy and Geoscience Institute – University of Utah and the Schlumberger Innovation Center, SLC, USA, under the aegis of the Polish Minister of Environment.
During this year’s conference, the experts are focusing on two important factors underlying the economic viability of shale gas production.
“We will analyse the reservoir quality of shale plays in Poland, including the conditions under which gas was generated and trapped millions of years ago, as well as the most effective completion techniques, focusing on rock susceptibility to fracturing and necessary parameters of stimulation treatments designed to enhance recovery of non-conventional resources,” explains Wiesław Prugar, President of ORLEN Upstream.
“Understanding the reservoir and completion quality is crucial for estimating potential production volumes, improving production efficiency and developing more effective extraction technologies,” says Roberto Suarez-Rivera, head of the Schlumberger Innovation Center.
Seeing that a considerable portion of gas reserves discovered around the world, including Poland, are accumulated in medium quality reservoirs, scientists will also focus on this type of formations in their analyses and discussions. Understanding the properties of such plays may be of paramount importance in tapping enormous reserves of hydrocarbon energy. In the light of current technological progress, such reservoirs have limited recovery potential due to low permeability, low porosity (hindering the accumulation of hydrocarbons) and low pore pressure. Therefore, experts participating in the conference will discuss development directions for gas recovery techniques.
“Currently, this is one of the most exciting challenges and most crucial issues in the area of unconventional hydrocarbon resources,” adds Mr Suarez-Rivera.
Last year’s ShaleScience conference entitled ,,Evolution of the Mental Picture of Tight Shales” was intended to provide the right perspective on shale rock characteristics. In North America unconventional resources have been important contributors to hydrocarbon supply for over ten years now. The possibility of recovering natural gas trapped in shale has an enormous impact on developments in the exploration and production sector. New methods of extraction are constantly improved to reduce costs and enhance production rates. Unfortunately, scientific knowledge of rock formations is not yet adequately reflected in the technologies used, which may lead to lower production efficiency resulting from the fact that universal technological solutions are applied to reservoirs with widely varying parameters. During the first ShaleScience conference, scientists and experts from all around the world strove to fill that gap and juxtapose various ideas of shale formations to arrive at a single, consistent and adequate set of guidelines.