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Avalon-Wolfcamp Shale Study

Reservoir Characterization and Production Properties

Currently, numerous oil and gas companies are directing their efforts toward the exploration and exploitation of "Tight Oil" from the Wolfcamp, Avalon Shale, and Bone Spring Sandstones in the Delaware Basin (Figure 1). Production is from the Avalon Shale and Wolfcamp sections above the 1st Bone Spring Sands (Figure 2). Companies are also targeting the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bone Spring Sands. These sands were the subject of a joint industry project completed by Core Lab for 10 companies.

This new proposed study will focus on the Leonard and Avalon Shale intervals, although other Bone Spring, Wolfcamp and Penn intervals will also be considered by the members. This unconventional oil reservoir has proved to be challenging in terms of reservoir characterization, predicting producibility potential, estimating ultimate recovery, and optimizing fracture stimulation techniques. Many companies either do not have or have limited rock property data that are crucial for understanding these reservoirs. Therefore, in order to properly evaluate and explore the Leonard and Avalon Shale, appropriate types of rock property data need to be measured and integrated with log data, stimulation techniques, and production test information. These integrated data sets and case histories will provide operators with the critical parameters to optimize their exploitation of the Leonard and Avalon Shale and reduce finding and development costs.

This project consists of the characterization and evaluation of numerous conventional cores, rotary sidewall cores, and drill cutting samples taken from multiple wells targeting the Leonard and Avalon Shale. This large and searchable database will provide operators with valuable information not only on their own wells within the Leonard and Avalon Shale section, but also on other operator's wells. The resultant database will be an invaluable tool to operators in evaluating, comparing, and designing completion and stimulation methods for the Leonard and Avalon Shale.


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Figure 1 - Study Area
(Source - Wood Mackenzie)
Figure 2 - Bone Spring, Leonard and Avalon Sections
(Source - Concho Resources)

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