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THE Shale Gas Thread Pt 2 (merged)

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 12 May 2013, 13:16:24

John - With his background I doubt I could teach him much and more likely pick could up a few pointers from him. I've worked in a much narrower world then he has. My reponse for more for any newbies out there.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby TheAntiDoomer » Sun 12 May 2013, 13:39:24

It's always been clear to me rocdoc Is miles ahead if Rockman. Rockman seems to be motivated by preaching doom and scarcity in hopes he'll get paid more. Honestly though rocdocs predictions are often right and rock mans are often wrong.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 12 May 2013, 13:56:44

Please point out one incorrect prediction I've made. Gonna be tough since I'm not in the habit of making any predictions but just pointing out facts as I understand them. It seems the only forecast I've made lately is my hopefull plans to add a few million bbls of proved producing oil reserves via my horizontal redevelopment program. Not very doomerish IMHO. I've also just forecast an increase in US oil production as long as oil prices stay up. Are you, the anti-doomer, expecting oil production to not continue to increase or do you agree with me?

BTW I get paid for how much oil/NG I produce and not by anything I say...thank goodness. LOL.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby John_A » Sun 12 May 2013, 16:02:09

TheAntiDoomer wrote:It's always been clear to me rocdoc Is miles ahead if Rockman. Rockman seems to be motivated by preaching doom and scarcity in hopes he'll get paid more. Honestly though rocdocs predictions are often right and rock mans are often wrong.


I am not familiar with any of Rockman's predictions. He seems to say "price" alot, and beyond that is making a decent living giving the people of the world EXACTLY what they are demanding, regardless of the morality of CO2 emissions or whether or not we should be using such fuels.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 12 May 2013, 16:33:50

John_A wrote:
TheAntiDoomer wrote:It's always been clear to me rocdoc Is miles ahead if Rockman. Rockman seems to be motivated by preaching doom and scarcity in hopes he'll get paid more. Honestly though rocdocs predictions are often right and rock mans are often wrong.


I am not familiar with any of Rockman's predictions. He seems to say "price" alot, and beyond that is making a decent living giving the people of the world EXACTLY what they are demanding, regardless of the morality of CO2 emissions or whether or not we should be using such fuels.
That's why rockman is trusted here. He seems to be the rare professional who isn't blinded by his paycheck or obligations, and doesn't have an agenda industry, environmental, optimist, pessimist, right, left. He just does the job he was trained to do and plays the cards he has been handed. Kind of groovy!
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 12 May 2013, 17:25:47

pstarr - You fool! You've fallen into my carefully prepared trap. LOL. Of course I have an agenda. Everyone has an agenda. My two miniature schnauzers (that my wife loves than me) have an agenda. The Nazis had an agenda regarding the Jews and the retarded. There are good agendas and bad agendas. If someone judges my agenda as something less than good I don’t have a problem with that. Don’t take this wrong but I don’t really care if anyone accepts or rejects anything I say. I don't take the least offense. I post purely for own satisfaction. I try not to go after anyone for their opinions. Theirs is no less valuable than mine…which I don’t rate very highly. But I do like to post facts along with their documentation. Something many posts here and elsewhere often lack. Then folks can create their own opinions.

I am neither an evangelist nor a missionary. Just a geologist that gets off to seeing his words posted in public. The wife and schnauzers don’t pay me much attention…this is all I really have. LOL.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Sun 12 May 2013, 18:35:05

And that’s pretty much how the oil patch sees it. And every oil well, whether completed in an unconventional or conventional reservoir, will one day become a stripper well. Every oil shale well completed today will become a stripper before the last Ghawar well declines to that status.

I've been in this business long enough to know that we applied the term "stripper" well to fields that had been produced for a long time where wells were producing tens of barrels a day, but still producing.I invested in a couple of companies back in the nineties that did OK with this and a bunch of companies who had bought old production as prices rose made out like bandits. IT was never intended as a description of shale wells which are hardly "stripper" inasmuch as they produce from virgin pressure through to abandonment. The "stripper" wells when the phrase was coined were largely wells that were actually turned back on....a lot of companies made money on this. None were "stripper" from start of production.
I'm sorry but classifying shale wells as "stripper" is solely for those of you who have almost zero clue about this part of the industry.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Sun 12 May 2013, 18:57:38

So Devonian shale wells producing since the 70's in Ohio aren't stripper wells? Even though some make only a barrel a day? Or less?


those wells were drilled for conventional reservoirs and happened on what would be termed unconventional but were not shales but rather a mix of of sedimentary rocks with permeabilities much higher than the unconventional reservoirs of today and they were never completed in the same manner. You could not produce a vertical well unfracted in true modern shale unconventionals at reasonable rates for any length of time, the permeability is too low. They hardly ever produced at a high enough rate to be termed "stripper" back when the term came into play in the industry. You can use whatever encyclopedic defintion you want but it was an oilfield term that had more to do with process than rate.

If you want to define "stripper" as a rate other than what it was originally intended in the patch to mean.....ie.. "I am now (or I could re-start) producing at a very low rate from my original intention but because I have capitalized all of my investment and am now just looking at point forward economics as long as I don't have to do any workovers or any maintenance I can still make some money, but it will be not windfall profits", then have at it. It still doesn't apply to the new unconventional business where the low plateau rates are anticipated before the well is drilled and full cycle economics work out very well. It is completely different.

The term is a very bad one to describe what is going on with unconventional E&P. If you want to debate this point I am more than willing and capable as this was one of my major oversights at the last company I worked with before retirement.

Shale production can't save us from Peak but it will have a serious impact on the length of the plateau and those who aren't willing to understand the technology, it's advantages and limitations (and I mean to say you need to actually have some knowledge in this) and the possibilities for improvements in both technology and cost control are more of a detriment to understanding the impacts of Peak Oil than they are a service.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby John_A » Sun 12 May 2013, 20:44:31

rockdoc123 wrote:I'm sorry but classifying shale wells as "stripper" is solely for those of you who have almost zero clue about this part of the industry.


Using Rockman's definition would seem to cover the idea of shale well stripper wells quite well. Rather than telling us how poorly understand the industry, can you please explain how the definition provided can NOT cover shale wells too?
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby John_A » Sun 12 May 2013, 20:48:06

rockdoc123 wrote:. You could not produce a vertical well unfracted in true modern shale unconventionals at reasonable rates for any length of time, the permeability is too low. They hardly ever produced at a high enough rate to be termed "stripper" back when the term came into play in the industry. You can use whatever encyclopedic defintion you want but it was an oilfield term that had more to do with process than rate.


So if I could provide the permit number of an open hole completion (unstimulated) producing from the Devonian Shale in Ohio, which produced for perhaps 2 or 3 decades and almost always made less than 10 barrels a day, this wouldn't be a stripper well because...."hardly ever" means you are willing to accept that certainly there could be a few around?

Rockdoc123 wrote:The term is a very bad one to describe what is going on with unconventional E&P. If you want to debate this point I am more than willing and capable as this was one of my major oversights at the last company I worked with before retirement.


Perhaps you could get the definition changed, from whatever encyclopedia Rockman retrieved it from?
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 12 May 2013, 21:45:56

John – “…from whatever encyclopedia Rockman retrieved it from?” An encyclopedia??? Try the Society of Petroleum Engineer, the America Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Texas Rail Road Commission, the Dept of Natural Resources of Louisiana, etc. etc.

As far as old unconventional wells go: “You could not produce a vertical well unfracted in true modern shale unconventionals at reasonable rates for any length of time, the permeability is too low. They hardly ever produced at a high enough rate to be termed "stripper" back when the term came into play in the industry.”

Again, I seem to exist in a different universe than others. According the records of the Texas Rail Road Commission – vertical Eagle Ford Shale completions:

API# 42-499-00628 Jan 1945 to Oct 1982 Placid Oil #2 Taylor = 365k bo
API# 42-499-30284 Jan 1945 to May 1985 Delta Drilling #3 G-B = 332k
API# 42-499-02525 Jan 1945 to Feb 2013 Delta Drilling #4 G-B = 578k bo
API# 42-499-00191 Jan 1949 to May 1992 Petro-Hunt #7 White = 547k bo

And there are many other examples. These wells initially came on at 100 to 200 bopd and produced less than 10 bopd for the last 8 to 14 years of their lives.

Nothing to debate folks. Everyone is free to classify them however they want…it’s a free country. But I and the rest of the oil patch will classify them as damn good unconventional reservoir completions that spent the later part of their lives as stripper wells.
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby TheAntiDoomer » Sun 12 May 2013, 22:08:53

Fact is Rockmans headline was silly and over the top, the fact is all the article is saying is that the shale gas revolution will come to other counties it will just take a little more time, so YEs other countries, shale gas for you!!
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 13 May 2013, 05:23:06

You finally just get that, zippy? How about the fact that this guy makes a living depending on folks not producing their own NG?
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Re: NO SOUP FOR YOU…OR SHALE GAS!

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Mon 13 May 2013, 11:58:00

Nothing to debate folks. Everyone is free to classify them however they want…it’s a free country. But I and the rest of the oil patch will classify them as damn good unconventional reservoir completions that spent the later part of their lives as stripper wells.


A quick look at the Railroad commission site indicates that these wells were completed and produced from the upper Eagle ford Formation sandstone member, often referred to generally as Sub-Clarkesville or specifically as Bells member. The Railroad Commission on its Eagle ford page states that the first shale production didn't happen until 2008. The current horizontal drilling activity in the Eagle ford targets the "shales" in the Arcadia Park, Britton and Tarrant members, all of which have high clay and carbonate content.

You might classify these wells as "unconventional" because they produced from a relatively tight carbonate cemented sandstone but it is not shale production. This is similar to the confusion that many have with respect to the Bakken Middle member which is variably a siltstone to limestone and accounted for most of the early production from the Bakken prior to the incorporation of long reach horizontals and multi-stage fracs.
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THE Shale Gas Thread Pt 2 (merged)

Unread postby kuidaskassikaeb » Mon 12 Aug 2013, 12:03:05

[quote][/quote]
http://blog.shaleshockmedia.org/2013/07 ... marcellus/
this is kind of cool too.
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Re: THE Shale Gas Thread (merged)

Unread postby kuidaskassikaeb » Mon 12 Aug 2013, 12:16:26

I recommend talking to a reservoir engineer who can explain to you the general order of magnitude difference between vertical permeability and horizontal permeability, why that matters, and then you can decide for yourself whether or not Darcy's law is bullshit.

And if you don't understand the differential pressure REQUIREMENT for movement contained within Darcy's Law, I recommend you ask about that as well.


I of course do not mean that Darcy's law is bull shit. I follow the law, especially the laws of nature. It is the nature on an argument that just mentioning an obscure equation is an argument. Also since the whole idea of fracking is to break Darcy's law. Well, maybe it doesn't apply.

If the pressure in the frack zone is lowered successfully, it should be impossible for backflow to contaminate aquifers period. Even with the short circuit of a concrete failure. Water from the aquifer shoould be disappearing into the hole. Wells should be going dry. Although I actually agree with you that water and methane are different problems. It does seem to me that a water contamination should be much less likely. What I don't like is that the data seems to indicate that it is happening on occasion, as shown by the Arsenic study yesterday, and the orange stuff from Dimrock.
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Re: THE Shale Gas Thread (merged)

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Mon 12 Aug 2013, 14:03:29

K

This is what you said

As I understand it about a third of fracking wells are dry holes, because there isn't any cap rock, in other words it leaked out.


And in support of that statement you link to a map that shows Marcellus performance and none of the wells shown are actually dry …..they show a range 0 – 2 MMcf/d and although a low rate of initial gas may prove to have an uneconomic EUR it is not pointing to failure of the top seal. The logic for this argument is not there.
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Re: THE Shale Gas Thread (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 12 Aug 2013, 14:19:27

k – Haven’t been able to follow the entire conversation. But note on your map that the red dotes are wells that tested between 0 and 2 mmcf/d. In reality there are very few if any “dry holes” in the trend. But there may be a high percentage that test a non-commercial flow rate of NG and are thus never produced.

Not sure about the cap rock portion of the conversation. Typically there’s no cap rock or top seal with respect to the fractured shale plays. All the NG that is produced from such formations is that which has been taped in the naturally occurring fractures. Those fracture don’t extend infinitely upward. Where they stop vertically is where that production ceases. The effective trapping mechanism is that the formation immediately overlying the shale reservoir doesn’t develop fractures. In fact, it’s been proven that most of the production from the Eagle Ford has come from the lower portion of the formation which is more brittle (thus more fracture prone) due to higher calcite concentrations than the upper portion of the EFS. In effect the upper EFS is trapping the lower EFS. But that’s really an incorrect statement: the productive lower EFS just don’t extend to a significant degree up into the upper EFS.

As far as Cabot goes other than the state saying Cabot caused the contamination your link doesn’t provide any evidence the Cabot wells caused the problem. Saying there was methane contamination in the water after Cabot drilled doesn’t prove the water wasn’t contaminated before they drilled. There are also many references sighting natural methane contamination long before any wells were ever drilled. Likewise regarding the arsenic et al contamination. Those are also naturally occurring. I’ve read about a number of areas in PA were the local water supply was condemned long before any drilling was conducted. Specifics vary from area to area. Where I’m drilling Texas at the moment water wells above 160’s are not considered fit for human consumption…just ag uses. All the households get their drilling water below 160’

And from the right wing Opinion page of the New York Times: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/ ... risk/?_r=0

“On the Green blog, Rachel Nuwer nicely summarizes the findings of a new Duke University study finding signs that natural geological pathways link deep briny fluids thousands of feet beneath the surface in Pennsylvania gas country with some shallow zones tapped for drinking water.

The study should ease concerns that reports of briny water mixing with drinking water have anything to do with gas drilling, including the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to release gas from deep shale layers. The areas where water samples drawn from near-surface layers had traces of the natural contaminants from the deep shale layers showed no relationship to past or current gas drilling activity, the researchers reported.”

And another example which both sides of the debate can use to make their case. From Huffington:

PITTSBURGH — New research in Pennsylvania demonstrates that it's hard to nail down how often natural gas drilling is contaminating drinking water: One study found high levels of methane in some water wells within a half-mile of gas wells, while another found some serious methane pollution occurring naturally, far away from drilling. The findings represent a middle ground between critics of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing who claim it causes widespread contamination, and an industry that suggests they are rare or nonexistent.

The contamination from drilling is "not an epidemic. It's a minority of cases," said Rob Jackson, a Duke University researcher and co-author of the study released Monday. But he added the team found that serious contamination from bubbly methane is "much more" prevalent in some water wells within 1 kilometer of gas drilling sites.

The Duke paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is an expansion of a 2011 study that attracted widespread attention for its finding that drilling was polluting some water wells with methane. The new study includes results from 141 northeastern Pennsylvania water wells. It found methane levels were an average of six times higher in the water wells closer to drilling sites, compared with those farther away. Ethane, another component of natural gas, was 23 times higher in the homes closer to drilling.

Jackson said the researchers believe that faulty drilling can cause methane pollution, but that natural causes can, too. Eighty percent of all the water wells they tested contained some level of methane, including many with no nearby drilling.

There was some good news, Jackson said: The Duke researchers haven't found any evidence that chemicals from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have contaminated water wells.
"We're not seeing the things that people are most afraid of," Jackson said, referring to the chemicals used in fracking.

The situation is complicated because Pennsylvania has many layers of oil, gas, and coal-bearing rock as well as natural faults. All those can enable gas to seep naturally into water wells, even in areas without drilling.

Fred Baldassare, who worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for 25 years, said the study doesn't present an accurate picture of the whole state because the Duke team went to areas where residents had complained about drilling contamination, rather than doing a random sample. Baldassare runs a research company called Eschelon Applied Geosciences.

The second water study was published online last week by the U.S. Geological Survey. It found that some Pennsylvania water wells in areas with no nearby drilling are naturally contaminated with high levels of methane. It also found that 85 percent of the samples had radon levels higher than federal safe limits. One well sample, taken at a hunting club, had such high natural methane levels, it could have been flammable, said hydrologist Ronald Sloto.

The USGS took samples from 20 wells in Sullivan County, in northeastern Pennsylvania, in order to establish a pre-drilling baseline for water quality. Sloto said his study and the Duke paper confirm that pre-drilling water testing is an absolute necessity for homeowners. "Once you have drilling you can't get a baseline, it's too late" to determine if drilling caused water problems or if they were already there naturally, Sloto said. Private water well quality and construction, as well as methane migration, is a longstanding public health issue in Pennsylvania, dating back decades.”

As I think I mentioned earlier getting a pre-drill analysis is the advice I gave every Yankee cousin that sought help from me. But we can go back and forth all day with he said…she said dueling articles. But at the end of the day I’m still looking for the details of the proof that an oil/NG well has caused problem with a water well. I’ve seen only one such case proven and it wasn’t due to a frac job. A company had their mud weight too high in the very shallow section of their well and damaged a nearby water well. No contamination per se but did damage the water well casing.

Again, I have no doubt there have been other instances of oil/NG drilling causing problems with local water supplies. As I keep saying despite best efforts sh*t happens. But I have yet to see anyone present any evidence of such problems on any significant scale. If this is as big a problem as many profess there should be hundreds of well documented examples. I’m still waiting to see even a handful.
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Re: THE Shale Gas Thread (merged)

Unread postby John_A » Mon 12 Aug 2013, 18:01:24

kuidaskassikaeb wrote:If the pressure in the frack zone is lowered successfully, it should be impossible for backflow to contaminate aquifers period. Even with the short circuit of a concrete failure.


Not quite. See, the short circuit of cement opens up a pathway to somewhere...that somewhere may be to yet a higher pressure formation...in which case nothing happens (or something flows the other way through the cement) or the pathway opens up WAY UP ABOVE somewhere, at a lower pressure, and suddenly the formation has an escape route. Call it a thief zone. An aquifer could potentially be just that, if the leak through the layers of steel and cement allowed a producing formation to get to it.

Of course, we aren't talking about fracking now but well design, and well design by law puts fresh water aquifers up top behind cement and steel. I should say, MORE cement and steel, so now we need multiple failures for something to get that far up top.


kuidaskassikaeb wrote:Water from the aquifer shoould be disappearing into the hole. Wells should be going dry. Although I actually agree with you that water and methane are different problems. It does seem to me that a water contamination should be much less likely. What I don't like is that the data seems to indicate that it is happening on occasion, as shown by the Arsenic study yesterday, and the orange stuff from Dimrock.


Orange stuff just happens to be exactly what mine runoff looks like on coal mine reclamation jobs. And methane in water has a much higher potential to come from those shallow coal mines than it ever does a frack job because...the entire point of oil and gas production is to take away the pressure driver from the formation fracked to anywhere else...Darcy's Law....
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Re: THE Shale Gas Thread (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 12 Aug 2013, 20:52:24

k - I can't remember if I've made this point to you before but I do have a dog in the fight over shale frac'ng. A very big dog, in fact: I would be very pleased if they proved frac'ng always damaged fresh water aquifers and was banned everywhere including Texas. It also wouldn't hurt my feelings if the banned the import of all Canadian oil.

So yes...I have a strong prejudice on both matters. But that doesn't change what I understand about drilling, frac'ng and production.
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