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Blood D.R.,EQT Production | Lash G.G.,State University of New York at Fredonia
Special Paper of the Geological Society of America | Year: 2015

Pyrite framboid diameters were examined in 31 samples taken from 2 Marcellus Shale cores recovered from Greene County, Pennsylvania, and Upshur County, West Virginia (USA). Analysis of framboid diameters in those samples from the more proximally located Upshur County core suggests that anoxic to anoxic-euxinic conditions persisted during accumulation of the transgressive-regressive cycle (MSS1) that comprises the Union Springs Member of the Marcellus Shale, with intermittent episodes of dysoxia. An increased abundance of large framboids documented from the overlying transgressive-regressive cycle (MSS2), which comprises the bulk of the Oatka Creek Member of the Marcellus Shale, indicates improved bottom-water conditions. Redox conditions recorded by framboid diameters of the MSS1 cycle of the Greene County core are generally similar to those of the Upshur County core; however, conditions in that region of the basin from which the Greene County core was recovered appear to have remained dominantly anoxic to anoxic-euxinic. Furthermore, the presence of small syngenetic framboids and large diagenetic framboids in the same thin section samples suggests that redox conditions fluctuated on a temporal scale beyond that observed at the scale of a centimeter-scale thin section. Framboid diameter trends established for both cores enhance our understanding of how much redox conditions varied both spatially and stratigraphically during accumulation of the Marcellus Shale. © 2015 The Geological Society of America. All rights reserved. Source

Franquet J.A.,Baker Hughes Inc. | Mitra A.,Baker Hughes Inc. | Warrington D.S.,Baker Hughes Inc. | Moos D.,Baker Hughes Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Society of Petroleum Engineers - Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference 2011, CURC 2011 | Year: 2011

Exploitation of unconventional shale gas reservoirs depends on successful hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Mineralogy, organic matter content, acoustic anisotropy, and in-situ stress all play an important role for well completion design. As part of a comprehensive site study of the Upper Devonian Huron shale, borehole acoustic and mineralogy logging data, in addition to conventional logs, were acquired in a vertical well prior to hydraulic fracturing and microseismic monitoring of a series of laterals drilled from the same location. The acoustic data was processed for compressional wave, cross-dipole shear, Stoneley-derived horizontal shear, radial velocity variations, and borehole Stoneley reflectivity indicators. The cross-dipole anisotropy and the near-well radial slowness variations provided information about intrinsic anisotropy and stress sensitivity to determine the source of dipole-mode anisotropy. Significant transverse acoustic anisotropy was detected and used to obtain vertical and horizontal dynamic elastic properties. The mineralogy and petrophysical analysis were used to generate a micromechanical constitutive model to reproduce numerically the laboratory stress-strain behavior of the rock, from which quasi-static mechanical properties were determined. These were calibrated against triaxial tests on core samples from an offset well, and the vertical and horizontal static elastic rock properties were used to estimate the vertical variation of the horizontal stress. The resulting stress profile, along with accurate mineralogy and petrophysical analysis, provides important information to select the best vertical locations of lateral wells and to identify natural fracture barriers. Copyright 2011, Society of Petroleum Engineers. Source

Starr J.,EQT Production
SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts | Year: 2011

The closure stress is the stress needed to hold open a fracture in rock once it has been created. Understanding closure stress is important when developing a gas shale like the Marcellus in the Appalachian Basin. It determines the existence of stress barriers, the extent of the expected drainage area, the type of proppant needed, etc. As such, it affects the completion design and drilling targets. Closure stress is commonly assumed to be equivalent to the minimum horizontal stress and can be calculated using the uniaxial stress equation. This equation has several parameters and has been expanded to account for tectonic strain and anisotropic tectonic strain (Theircelin and Plumb 1994). However, the goal of this paper is to simplify this equation and limit the parameters to something that can be estimated readily from seismic data. This paper makes the case that in the Appalachian Basin, estimating Poisson's ratio is sufficient to understand the changes in the stress gradient of the Marcellus shale relative to the surrounding layers both vertically and laterally. © 2011 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Source

Lash G.G.,State University of New York at Fredonia | Blood D.R.,EQT Production
Marine and Petroleum Geology | Year: 2014

Variations in the concentration of redox sensitive elements combined with pyrite framboid size data documented from a Marcellus Formation (Middle Devonian) core recovered from southwestern Pennsylvania elucidate the redox, organic matter accumulation, and diagenetic history of these deposits in this region of the basin. Uranium and Mo enrichment and Fe/Al display sharp increases coincident with diminishing Th/U upward through the initial 3rd order trangressive systems tract (lower Union Springs Member). These data as well as abundant small (<6μm) pyrite framboids record establishment of strongly reducing benthic conditions, perhaps related to the expansion of an oxygen minimum zone induced by increased surface productivity. Strongly anoxic, even euxinic, conditions were interrupted by episodes of dysoxia, perhaps seasonal or longer term. Overlying regressive systems tract (RST) deposits record modestly improved redox conditions, likely a reflection of a receding oxygen minimum zone as base level dropped. A subsequent 3rd order base level rise and renewed expansion of the oxygen minimum zone triggered by increased surface productivity resulted in the accumulation of the organic-rich lower Oatka Creek Member. Still, the mix of abundant small and subordinate large (>10μm) framboids preserves the record of oxygen deficient to sulfidic bottom conditions frequently interrupted by episodes of (dys)oxia. Improving redox conditions through the overlying RST were accompanied by a two-fold increase in Al and consequent dilution of the organic matter flux and authigenic trace metal uptake at the sediment-water interface. The upper half of the Oatka Creek comprises a depositional sequence not obvious from core inspection or gamma-ray signature but revealed by Mo enrichment and Al concentration profiles. Diagenetic modification of the Marcellus includes several horizons of authigenic calcium carbonate concretions and marked Ba enrichment. Both features reflect the effects of non-steady state microbial diagenesis within a methane-rich sedimentary column. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wilhide S.,EQT Production | Doebereiner D.,EQT Production | Smith J.,EQT Production | Raymond B.,Weatherford | Weisbeck D.,Weatherford
Proceedings - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition | Year: 2010

This paper presents the first use of a Rotary Steerable System (RSS) using air as the drilling fluid. The case history is in an ongoing unconventional gas development in the Appalachian Basin of the northeast United States. The RSS has been integral to increasing lateral lengths and corresponding increases in production while reducing development costs. Since 2006, EQT Production has developed Devonian reservoirs in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia using underbalanced, horizontal drilling techniques. The low (200-500 psi) bottom hole reservoir pressure does not allow drilling with fluid. Typical horizontal wells have had 3,000 ft laterals drilled with air, positive displacement motors, and electromagnetic telemetry (EM) MWD systems; that remains the predominate drilling technique. The air compatible RSS was employed to increase lateral length and production. Well 568478, in Letcher County, Kentucky became the first well to have a horizontal section drilled underbalanced using RSS with dry air. To date, eight wells have been drilled with lateral lengths from 3,800 -6,000 ft. Preliminary results show that the reserves developed are proportional to the lateral length drilled. The rates of penetration (ROP) with the RSS in the additional footage were similar to or greater than those in shorter laterals drilled with a motor. The RSS, with an integral EM MWD, has proven to be a technically feasible option in air drilling environments. The comparable ROP and resulting lower lateral costs per foot achieved with the RSS allows drilling horizontal wells with air beyond their previous limits, enabling greater production footage from fewer wellbores. It further allows drilling portions of the reservoir previously unreachable due to surface constraints such as topography. Many of the learnings to implement the RSS technology also applied to the use of the positive displacement motors (PDMs) previously used. These learnings were applied to the motors and significant improvements were made in drilling horizontals with these tools. Motor capability was pushed beyond limits previously established in the areas being drilled. As a result of the success with RSS and PDMs on extended laterals, EQT Production is extending the lateral length from 3,000 ft to 5,500 -7,000 ft on a plurality of the future wells drilled in the Devonian section. Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers. Source

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