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AustralianShaleGasAssessmentProject

RezaRezaee
UnconventionalGasResearchGroup,
DepartmentofPetroleumEngineering,CurtinUniversity,Australia
Shale gas is becoming an important source of natural gas in many countries. According to recent
assessments,Australiahasaround437trillioncubicfeet(Tcf)oftechnicallyrecoverableshalegas
resources. Western Australia (WA) alone is roughly estimated to be holding the fifth largest
reservesofshalegasintheworld.
In line with the governments effort to make sure that the nations growing future energy needs
aremet,aresearchgroupwasestablishedin2010byanindustryconsortiumtoinvestigateshale
gas prospectivity in Western Australia. The focus of the research activities of the Curtin
Unconventional Gas Research Consortium has been on the evaluation of potential gas shale
formations within the Perth and Canning Basins of Western Australia but the focus has now
switchedtostudiesoftheotheronshoreAustralianbasins.
ThemajorobjectiveofthepreviousconsortiumwastomapsweetspotsinthePerthandCanning
basins. Geological, geophysical, geochemical and petrophysical parameters are still under
evaluationtoachievethistarget.

Themaingoalofthisprojectistoidentify,assessandmappotentialshalegasformationsandto
define areas having the greatest gas potential. To achieve this objective it is required to
characterize the potential shale formations in terms of geological, geochemical, and
petrophysicalproperties:
Theobjectivesoftheproject
Integratedreservoir
characterizationofshalegas
formations:
Wehavemadeacompletedatabasefor
morethan500boreholesinthePerth
andCanningbasins.Thisdatabasecanbe
utilizedtocharacterizethemajorshale
intervalsforanylocationinPerthand
Canningbasins.Weareexpandingour
databasetootherAustralianonshore
basins.

Petrophysicalevaluationofshale
gasreservoirs:
Porosityandpermeability
measurements,
Capillarypressureanalysis,
Highpressurevolumetricanalysis(HPVA)
tomeasureadsorbedgascontent,
Accesstodifferentporestructure
evaluationtechniquesincludinglow
pressurenitrogenadsorption,mercury
intrusionandNMRlaboratoryfor
measuringporesize,poreshapeand
surfaceareaoftheshalesamples,
Compositionalanalysisofshalesamples
usingXRD,FTIRandSEM/EDS.

Highpressureadsorptioninstrument(HPVA)can
measuretheadsorbedgascapacityoftheshale
samples.Theadsorptionisothermcanbeusedto
calculateLangmuirvolumeandLangmuirpressure
whicharerequiredtomeasuregasadsorption
potentialforshalesamples.


0
15
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0 200 400 600 800 1000
G
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c
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(
s
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f
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t
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)
Pressure(psi)
AdsorbedGas TotalGas(Sw=50%) TotalGas(Sw=25%)
Adsorbed Gas
Free Gas
Thisproposalisforanannual
renewablejointventure
membershipconsortiumto
commenceinJanuary2014to
reviewshaleformationsofthe
onshoreAustralianbasinsand
providetheresultsofPhD
researchprojectstosponsors.
Wewillhaveaflexiblestructure
thatwillaccommodate:
CofundedR&Dprograms
sponsoredbyCurtin,
governmentandindustry
Industryfundedassetspecific
appliedresearch
Provisionofspecialised
services
Programduration
andstructure
Membersofthisconsortium
willhaveaccesstotheUGRG
laboratories.Aspartoftheir
membership,sponsorsmay
providecoresanddatafrom
anybasinforstudyandanalysis
bytheresearchgroup.
SponsorSupport

Deliverables

Therewillbetwomeetingsper
yearwhereallresearchers
presenttheresultsoftheirnon
confidentialstudiestothe
sponsors.
Sponsorspecificconfidential
studiesandtestswillnotbe
reviewedandwillremain
confidentialtodataowners.

Afullresearchreportwillbe
providedtoallsponsorsatthe
endofeachyear.

Annualsponsorshiptojointhis
researchconsortiumis$50,000.



















































Shale gas geochemical evaluation: A wellestablished database has been collected for
geochemicalparametersofshales,besidesthatwecanalsomeasurethefollowingorganicgeochemical
parameterswhicharesoimportantforsweetspotmapping:
QuantityoforganicmatterintheshalesamplesbymeasuringTotalOrganicCarbon(TOC)content,
ThermalmaturityoftheshalesamplesbymeasuringTmax,
TypeoforganicmatterbymeasuringHydrogenandOxygenindices.

Rockpyrolysisequipmentfordeterminingthegeochemicalparametersofshalesamples.Usingthisinstrumentwecan
measure total organic carbon, thermal maturity and type of organic matter. Figures above show how geochemical
analysiscanbeusedtoevaluateandrankdifferentshalesamples.
Poor
Fai r
Good
Very good
Excel l ent
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TOC (wt%)
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P
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Wellloganalysistoestimatethefollowingshaleparameters:
Porosity, Gas saturation, TOC contact, Rock mechanical properties, Pore pressure, Net thickness
identificationandVolumetriccalculationsofgasreserves

Theobjectivesoftheproject,continued
Weusewelllogdatatofullyevaluateshale
gasreservoirs.

















































UGRGfacilitiesavailabletosponsors

SponsorswillbenefitfromthestrengthsofPetroleumEngineeringDepartmentofCurtinUniversityincluding:

Highpressurevolumetricadsorption(HPVA)instrumentformeasuringadsorbedgasofgasshalesamples,
Rockpyrolysissystemfordetermininggeochemicalparametersofgasshales,
Uniquetruetriaxialcellforhydraulicfracturingstudies,
Heliumporosimeter/permeameter,
Highpressurehightemperaturedensitymeasurementtool,
UltraRockCentrifugeforrapiddeterminationofcapillarypressurecurves,
DeanStarkcleaningandextractionapparatus,
Porousplatecapillarypressuremeasurementtool,
Coresamplepreparationtoolsincludingcoringandcuttingtools,
Highlymotivatedyoungresearchersindifferentaspectsofgasshaleevaluationwhichcouldcontinuetheir
collaborationwithsponsoredcompanies.

Automatedheliumporosimeter/permeameter,Lowpressurenitrogenadsorptioninstrument.

Ourpetrographicanalysiswillhelpto
characterizeshalesamplesintermsof
compositionandtexture.Scanning
Electronmicroscopy(SEM)imageofa
shalesampleshowingpacksofclaysand
framboidalpyrite,
Redback#2,PerthBasin.


Weuseawiderangeoffacilitiestounderstandfluidflowmechanismin
shalereservoirs.

Weapplyrockphysicsandseismicforwardmodellingtopredictshalecharacteristics.





























Wegeneratecontourmapsthatshow
differentcharacteristicsoftheshale
formationsandhighlightsshalegas
sweetspotswithineachonshore
basin.

UGRGTeam

This work will be performed by a team of petrophysicists and geology Masters/PhD students under the supervision of
Professor Reza Rezaee. Our research group is expanding and currently there are 9 PhD and several Masters students
workingonthefollowingprojects:
ShalegasprospectivitymappinginPerthBasin
ShaleGaspotentialevaluationofGoldwyerandLaurelFormations,CanningBasin,WA
PetrophysicalevaluationofshalegasreservoirsinthePerthandCanningBasins
AninvestigationontheporepressureforthepotentialshalegasintervalsinthePerthandCanningBasins
Quantitative Analysis of Seismic Response to TOC Content and Maturity of Shale Gas Formations in Perth and
CanningBasins
SeismicinversionapplicationsandlaboratorymeasurementstoidentifyhighTOCshale
Porenetworkmodellingofshalegastoinvestigateflowmechanisms
Microwaveheatingeffectsonformationdamageintightgassands
ShaleGasReservoirSimulation
Forfurtherinformationpleasecontact:
Prof.RezaRezaee,
DepartmentofPetroleumEngineering,
CurtinUniversity,WesternAustralia.
Telephone:+61892667980
Email:r.rezaee@curtin.edu.au