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Shale Producers Adopt Geochemistry Fingerprinting to Quantify Cross-Well Production

This chromatogram reveals the unique “fingerprint” of a shale oil sample from the Permian Basin. The geochemical process used to generate this image has become a popular new tool for shale producers trying to understand where their oil really comes from. Sources: RevoChem.

Obtain a sample of reservoir rock, heat it up, add pressure, and then take a real close look at the drop of oil that comes out to find its unique “fingerprint.”

At a high level, this is the emerging extraction and geochemistry process that more than two dozen tight-oil producers have recently adopted to solve one of the shale sector’s biggest mysteries: how does oil flow through the rock matrix and into a hydraulically fractured horizontal well?

In a stacked formation, that question branches off into a few more: how much do neighboring horizontal wells communicate, which zones are co-producing the most, and how do these factors change over time?

“The ground truth comes when you collect rock, and know exactly what depth that rock comes from, and then extract hydrocarbons from that rock to know the fingerprint of that depth,” said Faye Liu, the founder and chief executive of geochemistry startup RevoChem.

Founded last year, the Houston-based firm has so far identified a geochemical fingerprint in more than 5,000 reservoir rocks and produced oil samples from more than 300 wells in nine different shale plays in North America and the Vaca Muerta Shale in Argentina.

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Shale Producers Adopt Geochemistry Fingerprinting to Quantify Cross-Well Production

Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor

17 October 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 12

No editorial available

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