Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Smart - Development of Prototype | Award Amount: 193.07K | Year: 2015
Exploitation of Shale gas requires the drilling of horizontal wells along the strata to be exploited with the location of the well within the strata having a big impact on the amount of gas or oil that can be extracted. A particular Shale deposit has a definite “sweet spot” in terms of productivity. Even a few feet up or down can have a significant impact. Directing a drill bit through strata is called “Geosteering” and requires a real-time analysis of the rock currently being drilled. Instrumentation mounted behind the drill bit can help but the only reliable process is to analyse the returned rock fragments. This is particularly important when an underground fault is encountered where the rock strata jumps vertically and the decision to go up or down to pick up the required strata again becomes crucial. Within the UK environmental concerns and high population density mean that wellsite locations will be far from optimal. Accurate geosteering to pick up specific strata up to 3 miles away will have a profound effect, both on the environmental impact and the economics of extraction. Unfortunately the relevant claystone is highly homogenous with very little differentiation across a significant vertical distance. Conventional Biostratigraphy, analysing the evolution of microscopic fossils to determine the age of the rock, cannot provide sufficient resolution for effective geo-steering due to the low rate of evolution versus sedimentation. PetroStrat, one of the world’s leading centres of expertise in biostratigraphy, has invented a new analytical methodology to enable homogenous claystone deposits, such as Bowland Shale, to be accurately geo-steered over large distances and through complex geological formations. Applying this technology across the Bowland Shale deposit the project will produce a highdefinition geo-steering “map” that will be used in conjunction with a trial geo-steered well to demonstrate the potential of the innovation.