Thermal maturity of the Barnett Shale determined from well-log analysis

Hank Zhao, Natalie B. Givens, and Brad Curtis

AUTHORS Hank Zhao $ 3906 Dunwich Drive, Richardson, Texas 75082; hankzhao@sbcglobal.net Hanqing ‘‘Hank’’ Zhao is currently an independent geologist. In his more than 20-year career in oil and gas, he had been with Republic Energy, mainly working on Barnett Shale; Southwestern Energy, working on Fayetteville Shale; and Dagang Geophysical Exploration and Southwest Petroleum University in China. He received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Wyoming, and his M.S. and B.S. degrees in petroleum geology from Southwest Petroleum University in China. His areas of interest are mainly on the geological and geophysical aspects of unconventional gas. Natalie B. Givens $ EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), Dallas, Texas 75240; natalie.givens@encana.com Natalie is a geologist concentrating on unconventional oil and gas plays. She received her M.S. degree in geology from the University of Kansas in 2006 and her B.S. degree in geology from the Southern Methodist University in 2000. Natalie spent 3 years with Republic Energy, Inc., prior to continuing her education and obtaining her M.S. degree. Brad Curtis $ Republic Energy Inc., Dallas, Texas 75206; bcurtis@republicenergy.com Brad Curtis is vice president of Geoscience and has been with Republic Energy since 1990. He received his B.S. degree in petroleum geology from Midwestern State University in 1983 and then worked for Expando Oil Co. in Wichita Falls, generating prospects in the Fort Worth and East Texas basins.

ABSTRACT Intensive development with large-scale fracturing treatments has made the Barnett Shale play (Newark East field) in the Fort Worth Basin the largest shale-gas field in the world. The Mississippian Barnett Shale is an organic-rich, self-sourced reservoir rock. Thermal maturity, thickness, and total organic carbon are the most important geological factors for commercial gas production from this shale formation. The log-derived thermal-maturity index (MI) has been developed in an effort to better understand and predict hydrocarbon phases across the basin. Maturity index was calculated using three types of open-hole logs: neutron porosity, deep resistivity, and density porosity (or bulk density). The derivation of MI is based on the hypotheses that shale gas is generated and stored locally without apparent migration from outside sources, and that the water saturation and the density of generated hydrocarbons decrease with an increase in thermal maturity. Maturity index correlates well with initial gas:oil ratios (GOR) from well production data. Based on this correlation, an empirical relationship has been demonstrated for the Fort Worth Basin. This method is useful in understanding the thermal-maturity levels of Barnett Shale source rock in the gasgeneration window. Mapping MI, GOR, and gas heating value from hundreds of wells identifies the various maturity stages and areas of Barnett Shale that generate oil, condensate, wet gas, or dry gas in the Fort Worth Basin.

INTRODUCTION By June 2006, Newark East field (Barnett Shale) had become the largest shale-gas field of its kind in the world in areal extent (6000 mi2; 15,500 km2), daily rate (1.97 bcf of gas and 6000 bbl of oil or condensate), and cumulative production (2.2 tcf of gas and 7.5 million bbl of condensate or oil). In the field, the Barnett Shale produces gas

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Republic Energy for the support of this publication and EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) for providing gas heating value data. We thank Richard M. Pollastro (U.S. Geological Survey, Denver), Daniel M. Jarvie (Humble Geochemical Services), and Kent A. Bowker for their detailed and helpful comments and suggestions, which improved the final draft. We thank Dan Steward (Republic Energy) and Robert Ehrlich for the initial review and Ronald Hill (U.S. Geological Survey, Denver) for editing the special issue.

Copyright #2007. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved. Manuscript received June 1, 2006; provisional acceptance August 31, 2006; revised manuscript received October 18, 2006; final acceptance October 27, 2006. DOI:10.1306/10270606060

AAPG Bulletin, v. 91, no. 4 (April 2007), pp. 535 – 549

535

The Barnett Shale is both the source and reservoir rock for the gas in place. Historically. the Mississippian Barnett Shale sits directly on the Ordovician Viola Limestone or Ellenburger Limestone. Studying shale source rocks using open-hole wireline logs has a long history. which was subsiding as .003 md). Pollastro et al. This complete maturity spectrum commonly does not exist for shale sources in most of the other basins. that is. this method is faster and more readily available than lab analysis of rock samples (core or cuttings). the thermal maturity of source rocks is determined by measuring vitrinite reflectance. and bulk density (or porosity) logs and explaining its petrophysical meaning. which provides a unique advantage for studying thermal maturity from log responses and their relationship to the phases of produced hydrocarbons for a specific well or basin. Other methods employed include anhydrous pyrolysis. 2003. Meyer and Nederlof. Because of the low permeability and small pore throats in shale.. and (3) determining the areal boundaries of defined thermal-maturity levels and hydrocarbon phases (oil. Bend arch to the west. 2007. because of its low permeability (less than 0. The Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin has a complete hydrocarbon maturity spectrum from oil to dry gas. Within the basin. It has helped us to quickly estimate the thermal-maturity levels of the shale and predict hydrocarbon phases such as oil. 1996). and hydrocarbon saturation for the Devonian shale (gas shale) in the Appalachian Basin. Pollastro. condensate. Fertl et al. this work was undertaken. For the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin. or dry gas) in the associated areas through mapping MIs and GORs in the basin. The gas window of regional shale formations as source rocks and their associated anomalous pressure regimes have been delineated by the analysis of sonic logs in Rocky Mountain Laramide basins (Surdam et al. GEOLOGICAL SETTING The Fort Worth Basin is a Paleozoic foreland basin defined by the Ouachita thrust and fold belt to the east.. (2) correlating MI with the initial gas:oil ratio (GOR) to scale the levels of thermal maturity in the gas window of the Barnett Shale. and the Llano uplift to the south (Wermund and Jenkins.. resistivity... and color alteration of spores or conodonts. defined as the remaining insoluble solid organic matter and generated soluble bitumen). A generalized structure on the base of the Barnett Shale (equivalently on top of Viola in the eastern part of the basin or on top of Ellenburger in the west) was completed using 481 well data points throughout the basin (Figure 1). 1968). wet gas. The TOC of source rocks was estimated using sonic and resistivity logs (Passey et al. wet gas. or dry gas during the field expansion. the average gas reserve per well has doubled or tripled because of technological improvement in drilling (horizontal) and completion (increasing sizes of fracturing treatment. 1979. 2003. The Barnett Shale was deposited on a marine shelf on the southwestern flank of southern Oklahoma aulacogen. and production review on the Barnett Shale has been accomplished by Montgomery (2004) and Montgomery et al. 1984. Productivity of individual Barnett Shale wells is geologically related to the thermal maturity.. The hydrocarbon (defined as the generated and movable oil and gas in the shale) molecule’s size is linked to the degree of thermal maturity. smectite-to-illite transition of smectite and illite mixed-layer clay through x-ray powder diffraction. A complete geological. gas mobility through tight shale matrix is increased for gas with a higher percentage of methane. porosity. with a major unconformity in between. Givens and Zhao. The Pennsylvanian Marble Falls Limestone rests on the Barnett Shale (Figure 2). With this importance in mind. 1994. and the thickness of the shale. 1988) through gamma-spectra log. there is no apparent process of gas accumulation or secondary migration from outside sources for shale gas. Using various well logs. This article focuses on the following aspects: (1) establishing a maturity index (MI) from analysis of neutron. Determination and delineation of the areas with different hydrocarbon phases closely associated with thermalmaturity levels in the gas window have a practical importance in the exploration and development of this gas shale.with some oil or condensate only after a hydraulic fracturing treatment. induction. 1997. aromaticity ratio of organic matter from nuclear magnetic resonance. Zhao. 2004). Surdam et al. 2004). and bulk density logs. When the MI is well calibrated with actual and reliable production data (GORs). Muenster (thrust) arch to the northeast. 2001. 1990). a systematic study of the thermal maturity has been completed using vitrinite reflectance (Ro) (Jarvie et al. geochemical. Guidry and Walsh (1993) calculated mineral compo536 Barnett Shale Thermal Maturity from Log Analysis nent volumes. Unlike conventional gas reservoirs. Bowker. condensate. the smaller the hydrocarbon molecule’s size (methane is the smallest). Typically. The potential of shale as source or reservoir rock was evaluated (King and Fertl. 2003. Red River arch to the north. (2005). total organic carbon (TOC. the greater the degree of thermal maturation.

The current (2006) outline of the Newark East field (Barnett Shale) is a red line. In the remaining area of the basin. Zhao et al. and lime beds of various thicknesses. The increased thickness near the Muenster arch is caused by the interstratification of shale. The Ouachita thrust and fold belt is the final remnant of this collision. the Forestburg limestone separates the shale into minor upper and major lower Barnett Shale intervals. The upper Barnett Shale is almost uniformly 60–70 ft (18–21 m) thick throughout the northeastern part of the basin. The contour interval is 1000 ft (305 m). which is equivalent to the top of the Ellenburger or Viola limestone. limy shale. The gross thickness of lower Barnett ranges from more than 600 ft (182 m) in the northeast near the Muenster arch to less than 50 ft (15 m) on the Bend arch in the western part of the basin (Figure 3). a result of the middle or late Mississippian collision of the North American plate with the South American plate (Flippin. 1982).Figure 1. In the northeastern part of the basin. no differentiation exists between the upper and lower Barnett Shale because of the disappearance of the Forestburg limestone. 537 . 1982. Regional geology and general structure on the base of the Barnett Shale. Henry. in the Fort Worth Basin.

some dolomite. The expanded section shows a more detailed interpretation of Mississippian and Ordovician stratigraphy.. and siderite).5% by weight (Hill and Nelson. remaining insoluble solid organic matter). which can generate both oil and gas .Figure 2. (2005). 2007. permeability. 15 – 25% carbonates (mostly calcite.5 to 4. X-ray powder diffraction analyses of 35 cuttings samples from three wells in Wise and Denton counties give the following shale composition by weight: 538 Barnett Shale Thermal Maturity from Log Analysis 45–55% silts (consist of mostly quartz and some plagioclase). Total organic carbon ranges from 3.. Generalized Paleozoic stratigraphic column of the Fort Worth Basin. 2004. Montgomery et al. 2005) and compared with other similar gas-producing shales (Hill and Nelson. (2003) and Montgomery et al. The Barnett Shale is a subtly heterogeneous rock in both mineral composition and physical properties.. 2001. Montgomery. Modified from Pollastro et al. 2000. including matrix porosity. 2000. 20 – 35% clay minerals. 2001). and microfractures. 2003. and 2 – 6% pyrite. Jarvie et al. which is equal to 7 – 9% by volume because the density of the organic matter is about half that of minerals. Curtis. The organic matter in the shale is type II kerogen (Jarvie et al. 2002). The geological characteristics of the Barnett Shale were summarized (Bowker.

including bulk density. stored in micropores at current reservoir pressure (1000 – 3000 psi. 0. Shale with higher porosity commonly has much higher gas productivity because the produced gas is mainly free gas. 539 . and its reservoir permeability is.Figure 3. Zhao et al.89 – 20.15–2.. Desorbed gas from the surface of organic matter is believed to be a very small percentage of the gas produced at the current stage of development. Porosity of the shale ranges from 3. Because of differential compaction. 6. THERMAL-MATURITY INDEX FROM LOG ANALYSIS To measure the thermal maturity of the Barnett Shale.0%. 1992. and deep resistivity.5 md (Lancaster et al. Kuuskraa et al. directly (then oil can be thermally cracked and become gas). 1998). an MI was established by analyzing several log curves.68 MPa). 2004). on average. the shale is generally tighter (low in permeability and porosity) on residually (nose) and structurally (bump) high areas of the Viola or Ellenburger Limestone.8 to 6. neutron.. The contour interval is 50 ft (15 m). the opposite occurs in low areas (Zhao. General isopach of the Barnett Shale (only lower Barnett Shale where upper and lower are differentiated) in the Fort Worth Basin.

(1) The Barnett Shale is both source and reservoir rock for the gas currently within the shale. The maturity index of the shale in the 1 Williams unit is 5. bulk density or density-porosity (matrix density of 2. photoelectric absorption index (P e). both of which are directly related to the levels of shale thermal maturity. The MI 540 Barnett Shale Thermal Maturity from Log Analysis from the log curves has been statistically calculated on the basis of several reasonable assumptions. Cross section of the Barnett Shale interval showing typical open-hole well logs (depth in feet). and the GOR from a nearby well is 126 mscf/bbl (1 Williams unit is the older well. which was drilled and logged through the Barnett Shale. The maturity index of the shale in 7 T. although much gas and oil that generated from the shale had been moved out of the shale through its primary migration. H. no measurable secondary gas migration or accumulation into the shale has occurred. H. Zorns unit has slightly lower neutron porosity and higher deep resistivity than the Henry Energy 1 Williams unit. Zorns unit has slightly lower neutron porosity and higher deep resistivity than the 1 Williams unit. therefore. A typical well-log suite in the field includes gammaray.Figure 4. The Republic Energy 7 T. These subtle differences are mainly attributed to the levels of gas saturation and the size of hydrocarbon (oil and gas) molecules in the shale.3.5. which is affected by heat levels and amount of time at various heat levels. The 7 T. neutron-porosity. Zorns unit is 6. (2) Gas saturation levels in the shale generally increase with the degree of the thermal maturity. as shown in Figure 4.71 g/cm3). (3) During . H. but does not produce from the Barnett Shale). and its initial GOR is 1610 mscf/bbl. and induction resistivity.

and m is the exponent factor of rock cementation. 1950).7 4. Rw m R fd9i t !1=2 ð1Þ Swi ¼ where R w is the formation water resistivity in ohm meters. fd9i is an estimated matrix porosity from the density log porosity (fd) by (fd9i = fd À 9%). shale matrix porosity must first be estimated for each well used. The total matrix porosity acquired by log porosity minus 7..4 Log porosity (fL) 11.6 10.8 8. Thus.7 1. with smaller sizes of molecules and less surface tension than those of liquid hydrocarbon. 541 .3 5. Therefore. 1992.9 4.6 3. A simple test was performed on a Barnett Shale core sample from the Mitchell Energy 1 Blakely well in southeastern Wise County.71 g/cm3 matrix) corresponding to the depths of these measured core samples is 12.6 12.5 5. As a result. the water saturation of shale generally decreases through expelling free water and water from mineral transformation (smectite to illite) caused by periodically high pressure and increasing temperature. The following is an application of the Archie equation.3 5.2 7.7 4.7%.1% from the log curve porosity.0 12. and the effective matrix porosity of the shale were approximated by deducting 9% from the log curve.3 2. TOC is approximately 7–9% by volume (3.8 6. the Archie equation is applicable to estimate water saturation (S wi) for the Barnett Shale. Porosity* (Whole Core.3 5. In the Barnett Shale.4 5.1 10.8 5. P.7 10. and the average matrix total porosity (crushed core) is 5.2 6.8 6.5 12.8 5.8 13. The average effective porosity (whole core) is 3. 2000.8 Porosity* (Crushed. R t is the deep formation resistivity.1 8. A water-wet rock has anion and cation transport under an electric field. To calculate the gas saturation and the MI.4 3.556 g/cm3 on bulk density curve) to get the effective matrix porosity of the shale.1% was used in the calculation of water saturation. fc) 5. The average difference between the log porosity and total core (crushed) porosity is 7.7 Cutoff for Effective Porosity (fL À fw) 7. The average difference between the effective (whole) core porosity and the log porosity is 8. is mostly water wet. This represents a small percentage relative to the total volume of shale sediment grains..4%. Besides.0 3. A cutoff of 9% log porosity was used to filter out any samples less than 9% in bulk density porosity (or higher than 2. 1992) are listed in Table 1. When a drop of water was put on a new surface (without surface contamination) of the sample. This indicates that the Barnett Shale. Hydrocarbon saturation is estimated using a simple Archie equation (Archie. Sims located in southeast Wise County (Lancaster et al. The average porosity from the bulk density-porosity curve (2.1%. Shale with less than 9% on the porosity curve is non-gas shale because of being either too limy (limestone layers or concretions) or too low in TOC. at least in the area of the gas window.0 8.4 8. Porosity Cutoffs from the Difference between Log Density Porosity and Measured Porosity Sample Depth (ft) 7656 7676 7680 7690 7701 7716 7724 7738 7740 Average (%) *From Lancaster et al.0 5.0 12.8%. Lab measurements of the effective porosity and total porosity from core samples of Mitchell Energy 2 T.7 4.9 7. Hill and Nelson. the content of elemental hydrogen in the shale decreases as thermal maturity increases because both hydrocarbons and water are expelled from the shale during the maturation process.5 15.5–4.93 Cutoff for Matrix Porosity (fL À fc) 6. the total porosity values of the shale were approximated by deducting 7. hydrocarbon chains in organic matter and hydrocarbons (generated oil and gas) become shorter in further generation and thermal crack.5% by weight.5 3.Table 1.. 2001).1 the progressive process of hydrocarbon generation. Jarvie et al.1 14.2 4.93%.1 12.9 8.0 10.4 13. the water quickly spread and had a very low contact angle on the sample surface.0 7. fw) 3.3 6. The remaining hydrocarbon (generated) in the shale is mostly gas.1 11. Zhao et al.

The matrix of Barnett Shale is similar to mudrock or chalk. The salinity of the true Barnett Shale water is most likely higher than 85. for the same equivalent NaCl concentration from measurement of produced water. whereas high hydrocarbon saturation (1 À S w75i) with high neutron values represents lower gas saturation and lower maturity.71 g/cm3 matrix) of 9% or higher and water saturation of 75% or lower. The existence of fractures and streaks will lower the value of the cementation exponent factor (Aguilera. Digital log data samples used for the calculation were selected only if the raw log data at a depth have a density porosity (2. An equation for MI was established as follows: N X i¼1 MI ¼ N fn9i ð1 À Sw75i Þ1=2 ð2Þ in which N is the total number of data samples selected only if the log density porosity is 9% or higher and water saturation is 75% or lower at each sample depth. and less water in the shale. oil and gas are expelled out of the Barnett Shale. which reflects higher maturity. water resistivity in the shale reservoir conditions should be even lower than that in the Viola or Ellenburger limestones.03 ohm m was chosen to be used on the basis of the chart of NaCl concentration versus solution resistivity (Schlumberger.The cementation exponent factor (m) in Archie’s equation for mudrock or chalk was identified as about 2. a statistical equation was formulated and tested to acquire an index number reflecting the petrophysical changes in the shale with increasing thermal maturity. A part of the structural water in the clay minerals is expelled after becoming free water during the transformation of the clay minerals. the estimation of the shale matrix porosity from bulk density log. Some fractures (vertical) and streaks or cleavages (horizontal) exist in the shale. The chemical analysis of 42 water samples was used to calculate the average equivalent NaCl concentration using conversion factors from Dunlap and Hawthorne (1951). shorter chains of hydrocarbon. The MI is an average number for the selected digital log data samples covering the Barnett Shale interval (or lower Barnett if the Forestburg limestone exists) in each well. so it is not affected by the variation of gross thickness. Depending on the variation of total matrix porosity (3–7%). The reasoning behind this originates from the hypothesis that only the shale with greater than minimum porosity (9% cutoff) and minimum hydrocarbon saturation (25%) qualifies as source and reservoir rock with minimum effect from lithological variation. Any interval with less than 10 ohm m of deep resistivity will be filtered out by the water saturation cutoff (<75%). The neutron log is designed to detect the density of elemental hydrogen in rocks. but the fracture porosity is a very small percentage of the total shale porosity. 1974). and a part of the original interstitial water is also expelled and replaced by generated hydrocarbons (oil and gas). Liquid . 2003). The lower neutron value (fn9i) represents higher gas saturation. and hydrocarbon saturation (1 À S w75i) from bulk density and 542 Barnett Shale Thermal Maturity from Log Analysis deep resistivity logs.9 as an approximation in this study. Based on these assumptions. The water saturation was calculated from log curves on the basis of the previously mentioned parameters and log porosity cutoffs. a water resistivity of 0. High hydrocarbon saturation (1 À S w75i) with low neutron values represents higher gas saturation and higher thermal maturity. The neutron porosity has a greater effect on the MI than the hydrocarbon saturation in the equation because of the square root applied to the hydrocarbon saturation (1 À S w75i).0 from the relationship between the measured porosity and formation factors (Focke and Munn. any interval with resistivity between 11 and 60 ohm m may be filtered out. and S w75i is the water saturation for the samples selected only when the log porosity is 9% or higher and the water saturation is 75% or lower at each sample depth. During the process of thermal hydrocarbon generation. which is inversely related to MI. The average equivalent NaCl concentration of water from the 42 Barnett Shale wells is about 85. The final samples of log data were also filtered by a water saturation of 75%. fn9i is the neutron porosity for the samples selected only when log density porosity is 9% or higher at each sample depth. At average reservoir temperatures of about 200jF (93jC) in the field. Only the log interval with water saturation lower than 75% (or hydrocarbon saturation >25%) is counted as a possible pay interval. 1987). considering the anions and cations in clay minerals of the shale. In addition. 1989). Therefore. intervals with water saturation higher than or equal to 75% are filtered out.000 ppm.000 ppm because of the less possible effect by recharging ground surface water. the cementation factor for the Barnett Shale was chosen to be 1. The salinity of produced water from Barnett Shale wells mostly represents that of the water from the Viola Limestone or Ellenburger (porous) Limestone immediately below the Barnett Shale (Bowker.

and log calibration. hydrocarbons (oil) have a much higher hydrogen density (number of elemental hydrogen per unit volume) than gas hydrocarbons. All these wells have three types of log curves run through the Barnett Shale interval (or lower Barnett interval where separate).8 6. INITIAL GAS:OIL RATIOS VERSUS MATURITY INDEX The initial GOR is acquired by dividing the cumulative gas production by the cumulative oil or condensate production of a well in the first full month.0 7.7 psia [101 kPa] and 60jF [15jC]). the MI will be slightly larger because of the increase in water saturation in the tighter shale. some neutron logs from the 1970s with abnormally high or low readings relative to many nearby wells were not used in the analysis. the variation in average porosity has a very slight effect on the MI. when the average density porosity filtered by 9% is less than 11%. To keep GOR values shorter in this article.Table 2. reliability of old logs (mainly logged in the 1960s and 1970s). relative density to air = 0.7 psi [101 kPa] and 60jF [15jC]) has a higher hydrogen density than dry gas with a very low percentage of C2 + (mostly methane C1. The values of the initial GOR throughout the Fort Worth Basin range from 1 to 10. This is commonly seen in production decline curves of Barnett Shale wells. Gas:oil ratios of a well gradually increase because of a faster decline of condensate (or oil) relative to gas. Several factors affecting the MI are density porosity. Wet gas with a high percentage of C2 + (relative density to air >1. 1 Silver. The top and base of the Barnett Shale (using a lower Barnett Shale interval if the upper and lower are separated) are used as input.2 4. 1C 2 1 2 2 2 1 1 Lease Benson Annie Heard Est. A total of 184 wells widely dispersed across the basin were used in the calculation.15 m). the decrease in neutron porosity is easily detected because of the much lower density of gas than that of oil and because of the continuous decrease in density and elemental hydrogen from wet to dry gas. G. However. gas volume is expressed in thousand cubic feet per barrel (mscf/bbl at standard surface condition of 14.4 5.000 mscf/bbl. For conventional reservoirs.1** 24 40 171 1044 4460 DG (dry gas) *GOR from nearby well Dallas Production 1 Swint. When average density porosity filtered by 9% is greater than 11%. Some of the initial GORs are listed in Table 2 and are correlated with MI values of the wells or nearby wells.0 7. A few wells with average density porosity between 9 and 10% on log curves were not used because either the shale is too tight or the logging tool (older logs) was poorly calibrated. For the Barnett Shale.1 9.5 ft (0. The neutron-porosity readings of the shale will vary depending on the stage of thermal maturation present in the well. For some Zhao et al. the variation in GOR may only reflect the gravity separation during secondary migration and accumulation. the initial GOR generally reflects the thermal maturity of the shale at well locations because it is assumed that no apparent lateral migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons occurred into the shale. In the oil-generation window. Results from the eight selected wells arranged by their locations from the northwest to the southeast of the basin are listed in Table 2. The initial GOR represents the more original property of hydrocarbons in the shale reservoir. **GOR from nearby well Stone J. The software takes raw log data in log-ASCIIstandard (LAS) format and with sample rates of every 0. With production continuing. the decrease in neutron porosity is subtle and small. a decrease in reservoir pressure causes a separation of liquid and gas within reservoirs.554 at 14.6 GOR (mscf/bbl) 1. Comparison between Maturity Index and GOR for Selected Wells Operator Republic Energy Earth Science Republic Energy Republic Energy Mitchell Energy Republic Energy Republic Energy Chevron Well No. Initial GORs increase as MI increases. Crystelle Waggoner Cocanougher 287 Thomas P. 543 .0* 1. In addition.04 at 14. Sims Barkley Blair Mildred Atlas County Montague Montague Wise Wise Wise Wise Tarrant Johnson Maturity Index 4. A specific computer program was developed for the calculation of the MI and other petrophysical parameters.7 psi [101 kPa] and 60jF [15jC]). in the gas-generation window.4 5.

0 or less (GOR < 10 mscf/bbl). Several maturity levels can be established with increasing GOR and MI. condensate. the shale is within the oil-generation window.0 and the GOR is between 10 and 100 mscf/bbl.Figure 5. were used in plotting a correlation chart with a 10-based logarithmic scale for initial GOR and with a linear scale for MI (Figure 5). the shale is at an early stage of gas generation when wet gas and most condensate are produced.452.0 and GOR is above 1000 mscf/bbl. The statistical linear relationship between the MI and log(GOR) is caused by the remaining hydrocarbon (oil. and mostly oil with some dissolved gas is produced.0 (Figure 6). one barrel was used in the calculation of GOR.0 and a GOR between 100 and 1000 mscf/bbl.0 and 6. the MI or GOR from the closest nearby well was used. The correlation coefficient (R 2) is 0. A linear relationship exists between the MIs and the corresponding GORs on these scales of coordinates. At an MI between 6.500 km2) in more than 10 counties.85.0 is identified over most of the Tarrant and Johnson counties. As the thermal maturity progresses to the late stage of gas generation. the shale is at a late stage of gas generation when mostly dry gas is produced. data points are more scattered because of the inaccuracy of reporting a small amount of condensate from the wells.373 log(GOR) + 4. the gas heating value falls as low as approximately 1000 Btu/scf because produced gas consists of more than 96% methane and a minor amount of nonhydrocarbon gases (mostly CO2 and N2). where both the MI and initial GOR could be calculated. the shale is at a middle stage of gas generation when mostly wet gas with some condensate is produced.0 to 9.0 in the Barnett Shale. Areas . The total area of the shale within the gas-generation window encompasses about 6000 mi2 (15. When a well produced less than one barrel of oil or condensate in the first month. As the thermal maturity progresses. 544 Barnett Shale Thermal Maturity from Log Analysis when MI is 5. A thermally mature area with an MI greater than 7. THERMAL MATURITY OF THE BARNETT SHALE Maturity indices calculated from the 184 well logs are plotted on the map of Figure 6. At the high end of the correlation. either MI or GOR was available. When the MI is between 5.0 and 7. When MI is above 7. The wells with no oil or condensate production from the Barnett Shale are marked with DG (dry gas). Four thermal-maturity levels and their corresponding types of produced hydrocarbons are indicated. and gas) locally generated in the shale and without large lateral migration. MI increases from 4. The onset of the thermal gas-generation window is defined by an MI of greater than 5. which means that MI and log(GOR) are related fairly well. The curve fit equation from the correlation is MI = 0. In these cases. wells. Correlation between the MI in linear scale and the initial GOR in logarithmic scale. The good correlation between MI and log(GOR) provides a tool for delineating the thermal maturity of the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin. A total of 44 wells. Generally.

Gas:oil ratios from 210 Barnett Shale gas-producing wells were mapped throughout the basin (Figure 7). The area less than 5. Eight wells and their MIs from 4. the area over 7. Dry gas without any condensate is expected in areas with an MI greater than 7.0 and 7. the area between 6.0 likely produce wet gas with a small amount of condensate.0 and 7.0 is for dry gas.0 is for wet gas with a little condensate.6 on the line AA0 are listed in Table 2. there is no explanation for this anomaly. Areas having an MI between 5.0.Figure 6.0 likely produce both wet gas and oil (or condensate). the area between 5. The contour interval is 0. An anomalously low MI occurs in southern Parker County. Pattern of the thermal maturity from log analysis.5 in MI. The MI for each well is marked beside the well symbol.0 and 6.0 is mainly for oil. 545 .0 is mainly for both wet gas and condensate (or oil). The pattern established from the contouring GOR is Zhao et al. Areas having an MI between 6.2 to 9.0 and 6. Currently. as shown in Figure 6.0 initially produce oil with some dissolved gas. with an MI less than 5.

As with MI. Dry gas without condensate is likely found in the areas with a GOR greater than 1000 mscf/bbl. The GOR for each well is marked beside the well symbol in units of thousand cubic feet per barrel. and Hill counties produce only dry gas. Contour pattern of the initial GOR based on production from Barnett Shale wells. Areas with GOR less than 10 mscf/bbl produce oil. areas with GOR between 100 and 1000 mscf/bbl contain wet gas and minor condensate. Similarly. The eight wells and their GORs from 1. The contour interval is one unit of log(GOR). whereas areas with GOR between 10 and 100 mscf/bbl contain both wet gas and oil 546 Barnett Shale Thermal Maturity from Log Analysis (or condensate). Johnson. Most of the wells in Tarrant.Figure 7. so there are no GOR values (marked as DG) on the map for these counties. found to be very similar to that from the contouring MI. Gas heating value measured with British thermal units per standard cubic foot can be used as an indicator .0 to 9700 mscf/bbl on the line AA0 are listed in Table 2. the areas with the highest GORs (above 1000 mscf/bbl) are located mostly within Tarrant and Johnson counties.

which is 1010 Btu/scf. Zhao et al. Most of the Barnett Shale wells have about 2% N2 and less than 1% CO2 in produced gas. Gas heating values decrease with the decrease in gas hydrocarbon molecule size.Figure 8. With the thermal maturity of the shale increasing. of the shale thermal maturity if nonhydrocarbon gas content (N2 and CO2) is small and generally stable. the percentage of methane in the gas increases. Johnson. Contour pattern of gas heating values (British thermal units per cubic foot) from Barnett Shale gas. The contour interval is 1000 Btu/scf. Areas with low gas heating values (about 1000 Btu/scf dry gas) are mainly in Tarrant. methane has the lowest heating value. Therefore. the areas with low gas heating values generally indicate high thermal maturity in the shale. The contour lines in Hill and Bosque counties are estimated because of a lack of wells. Gas heating values from 68 Barnett Shale wells are mapped for the basin (Figure 8). 547 . Among the various gas hydrocarbons.

W. Evaluating shale reservoir logs: Oil & Gas Journal. 1233 – 1238. Identification of source rocks CONCLUSIONS Thermal maturity is the primary geological factor in exploration and development for the Barnett Shale gas of the Fort Worth Basin. SPE Paper 24884. 1950. less mature areas away from the core area. The areas with high Btu values (about 1200 Btu/scf. Ruble. Oil and shale gas from the Barnett Shale. wet gas with condensate. M. Well log interpretation of a Devonian gas shale: An example analysis (abs.. Gas productive fractured shales: An overview and update: Gas Tips of Gas Research Institute. C. 2003. 3. 1982. Hill. Flippin. N. E. 67 – 76. B. and R. p. B. F. T. E. Fertl. Generally. L. R. Claxton. Jochen. p. Patterns of thermal maturation for the Barnett Shale from MI. F.. in C. 166 – 168. and J. 1984. multiple levels of maturity are delineated for the basin. J. A. W. p. 2001.. or dry gas defined from MI are in good agreement with those from mapping initial GORs and gas heating values. The Barnett Shale: Not so simple after all (abs. v. J.. and western Dallas counties as the core dry gas area. 1921 – 1938. 2007. M. G. p.C. greater effective thickness. 10. north-central Texas. J. ed.. Most wells in Tarrant and Johnson counties are examples of wells with high gas productivity and reserve. B. Hood. v. Pollastro. Fort Worth Basin: West Texas Geological Society Bulletin. v. May 25. This provides an ideal opportunity for maturity studies from open-hole wire-line logs and for their correlation with GOR. 407 – 419. A. 26. the areas with high thermal maturity in the Barnett Shale will have higher gas productivity and reserves per well. Hawthorne. Jarvie. 475 – 499. and J. Zhao. Cementation exponents in Middle Eastern carbonate reservoirs: Society of Petroleum Engineers Formation Evaluation II. Introduction to petrophysics of reservoir rocks: AAPG Bulletin. A log-derived MI of the shale is a useful indicator of thermal maturity and hydrocarbon phase because the Barnett Shale is a self-sourced reservoir and has a complete maturity spectrum from oil to dry gas. Focke. p. M.. E. K. Worth Basin. 1979. in C. H.. 2. 4 – 11.. and W. and H. 1982. Johnson. complete article at: http://www. A100. The Barnett Shale contains mainly type II kerogen. and away from major faults and away from areas with porous and wet Viola Limestone or Ellenburger Limestone at the base. v. no. 1974. 91. F. 1998. 6. W. 943 – 961. D. v. Koperna. D.): AAPG Annual Meeting Program. 129 – 177. L. p. being equal. and G. p. A. and C. J.western Dallas. Jack. 1988. higher matrix porosity.. Nederlof. A. 1992. 17. 225 – 236. King. SPE Paper 26932. Chilingar. p. completion techniques. Petroleum geology of the Forth Worth Basin and Bend arch area: Dallas Geological Society. 1993. p. and J. 86. D. Martin. H. A52. and its thermal maturity ranges from oil to dry gas. 13. northwestern Hill. Fertl. v. 1987. v. T. Curtis. p. no. northern Wise. p. the contour patterns based on production of oil. 2002. Fractured shale-gas system: AAPG Bulletin. V. K. Barnett Shale rising star in Fort Worth Basin: Oil & Gas Journal. Walsh. R. and northwestern Denton counties. Within the gas-generation window. E. condensate. ed. Texas (abs. J.. J.. Recent development of the Barnett Shale play. p. Dunlap. Jarvie. and M. p. and northwestern Hill counties. Guidry. the most favorable areas for Barnett Shale gas production (sweet spots) are those with high thermal maturity. Areas within the gasgeneration window are defined using MIs. and gas thermal values identify highly thermal mature areas located in Tarrant.. D. 1998. further supporting the utility of MI as a tool for predicting hydrocarbon phase (oil. W. October 4 – 7. Henry. K.. Generally. no. S. 42. p.. If all other factors are the same. Stratigraphy of the Barnett Shale (Mississippian) and associated reefs in the northern Fort Worth Basin. thickness and TOC are important secondary geological factors.com/Articles /Barnett_Shale/Barnett. and economic aspects of the Paleozoic strata in Erath County. 2.): AAPG Annual Meeting Program. Unconventional shale-gas systems: The Mississippian Barnett Shale of north-central Texas as one model for thermogenic shale-gas assessment: AAPG Bulletin. structure. v. and R. V. no. Munn. March 26. REFERENCES CITED Aguilera. D. and recent results from Barnett Shale development in the Fort Worth Basin: Presented at the 1992 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Hill. H. F. E. GOR. wells in areas with higher thermal maturity will have better gas productivity and higher gas reserve than those in an area with lower maturity in the gasgeneration window. Reservoir evaluation. 157 – 177. and J. Petroleum geology of the Forth Worth Basin and Bend arch Area: Dallas Geological Society.. Bowker.aspx. 4 – 13. Washington.): Society of Petroleum Engineers.. p. G.. Quinn. Palo Pinto. Breyer. Ft. Guidry. v. Total organic carbon content determined from well logs: Society of Petroleum Engineers Formation Evaluation. G.. Givens. Henk.. v. D. Hill. Meyer.. All other key geological and engineering factors 548 Barnett Shale Thermal Maturity from Log Analysis . wet gas. or dry gas) in exploration and exploitation. 155 – 167. Schmoker. p. 2000. Martin. as indicated by MI. Archie. E. R. Analysis of naturally fractured reservoirs from sonic and resistivity logs: Journal of Petroleum Technology. Lancaster. W. E..republicenergy. 34. 3. The stratigraphic. 4. The calculation of water resistivity from chemical analyses: Journal of Petroleum Technology. Kuuskraa. 1979. 1951. mainly produce high-Btu wet gas with oil or condensate. R. H. R. F. and D. wet gas and oil) are in Parker. Nelson. McKetta. 11. 6. Furthermore. 2004. no. Good empirical correlations exist between MI and GOR.

p. Mississippian Barnett Shale. 199 – 222. Resistivity of NaCl solution. ed. Hill. Jiao. 68. and R.. 2.energyconnect. p. 5. Texas (abs. ed. University of Wyoming. northcentral Texas: Gas-shale play with multi-trillion cubic foot potential: AAPG Bulletin. Geological and production characteristics utilized in assessing the Barnett Shale continuous (unconventional) gas accumulation. 74. and H. Bowker. March 1 – 5. L. H. Anomalously pressured gas compartment in Cretaceous rocks of the Laramide basins of Wyoming: A new class of hydrocarbon accumulation. traps. Barnett – Paleozoic total petroleum system. Pollastro. B. Log interpretation charts: Schlumberger Education Services.. 1 – 72. http://www. p. Zhao et al. Dallas Geological Society guidebook to the late Pennsylvanian sediments. Pollastro... 20.. Jr. Basin and seals: AAPG Memoir 61. 549 . no. Barnett Shale: A new gas play in the Fort Worth Basin: IHS Energy Petroleum Frontiers.com/documents/pollastro/index. Anomalous pressures in the Cretaceous sandstones of the Denver and San Juan basins (Rocky Mountain Laramide basins): Ph. Surdam. 2003. Jiao. Creaney. C. Fort Worth Basin.htm.on wireline logs by density/resistivity and sonic transit time/ resistivity crossplots: AAPG Bulletin. Wermund. p. C. Pollastro. S. 13. Q. p. and C. F. A154. 2004. Henry. Jarvie. 2005. Ortoleva. E. Jarvie. 12. Wyoming. C. v. R. in P. 121 – 129. v. Texas (abs. Kulla. Z. Seals. M.. Geo- logical and organic geochemical framework of the Barnett – Paleozoic total petroleum system. 2003. R. J.. H. S. 2004. Ellison Mile Geotechnology Institute at Brookhaven College. p. and M. 256 p. 1989.): Barnett Shale Symposium. M.. 1997. M. A. Texas. 1996. S. and the petroleum system: AAPG Memoir 67. Geological Library. Texas. Surdam. P. S. Adams. Z. Fort Worth Basin. Surdam. dissertation. p. R. Martinsen. 1. J.. R. Zhao. S. 1990.): AAPG Annual Meeting Program. p. no. 213 – 233. Assessing undiscovered resources of the Barnett – Paleozoic total petroleum system. A. R. http://www . J.. L. 13. Schlumberger Well Logging Survey Corporation. and R. Dallas..): AAPG Annual Meeting Program. 155 – 175. D. p. M. north-central Texas: p. 2. R. Heasler. E. M. in R.. v. 89. Pollastro. The regional pressure regime in Cretaceous sandstones and shales in the Powder River Basin. Jenkins. 7. 2003. R. v. Stroud. D.. 18 p. Texas (abs. A practical model for organic richness from porosity and resistivity logs: AAPG Bulletin. S...D. 2004. Jarvie. in Dallas Geological Society. and J. M. November 12 – 13. north Texas (abs. p. Laramie. Passey. Bend arch – Fort Worth Basin province. Zhao. Late Pennsylvanian series in north-central Texas. 2003. no. Montgomery. Thermal maturation and physical properties of Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin. Fort Worth. and W. A113. no. D. G.. Hill. 1968. R. ed. 1994. Montgomery. 1 – 11. J.searchanddiscovery . v.htm. Moretti.): AAPG Southwest Section Convention. v. 1777 – 1794. Bend arch – Fort Worth Basin.com/pttc/BSR/BSRpublications. K. D.

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