Complex reservoirs and composite production mechanisms are the rule not the exception for the oil and gas industry worldwide. Commercialization of these types of field environments requires engineers and geologists to have an integrated and comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of these complexities. This is a prerequisite to establishing an accurate physical model from which to advance the proper development strategy. The results and conclusions from more than a decade of field research done at the MWX and M-Site project sites conducted in the Piceance basin of western Colorado will be discussed. The project sites included 3 closely spaced test wells, e.g. <250 ft apart, a nearby offset well implanted with microseimic devices and downhole tilt meters, and a slant well to intersect hydraulic fractures. An extensive set of measurements, tests, and analysis provided the research team with an extraordinary view of these reservoir complexities that were originally unforeseen, but once understood, eventually played a significantly role in altering the more commonly used conventional procedures, techniques, and methodology in the development of tight reservoirs. The presentation will include data sets, interpretations, analysis, and some nuances regarding low porosity, very tight matrix rocks, natural fractures, highly elliptic drainage patterns, stimulation enhancement, lenticular or compartmentalized reserves, and well spacing. Although the mere presence of reservoir complexities seems a bit foreboding once their existence, characteristics, and interactions are defined, then a comprehensive field wide economic development strategy can be advanced.
Paul Branagan is a physicist with more than 30 years' experience in the industry. Most of his work involved large scale commercial and R&D technical projects. He was technical manager for several Department of Energy (DOE) and Gas Research Institute (GRI) sponsored R&D projects including the Western Gas Sands, MWX, M-Site, and Slant Hole and Horizontal Well Projects. The primary goal for these decade long, multi-million dollar projects was to identify marginally productive gas reservoirs, develop the proper completion techniques for enhanced commercial production, increase petroleum reserves, and provide the proper economic balance to entice renewed interest in speculative reservoir environments such as tight gas sands, coal bed methane, and shales. He has been a technical consultant for many major oil and gas companies assisting them in the design and implementation of enhanced production strategies. Branagan has written numerous SPE articles concerning the assessment, testing, stimulation, and commercial development of hydrocarbon production in various complex reservoir settings. He is a 25 year SPE member.