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Unconventional gas Features of shale gas Process of shale gas development Hydraulic fracturing Environmental protection

Main categories of unconventional natural gas

deep gas, tight gas, 14 % world gas reserves shale gas, coalbed methane, geopressurized zones, Arctic and sub-sea hydrates.

Schematic cross-section of the subsurface illustrating types of natural gas deposits

A - Conventional non-associated gas B Seal C - Gas-rich shale D - Tight sand gas E Oil F - Conventional associated gas G - Coalbed methane H - Land surface


Shales are continuous, homogeneous and boring!

Bulk composition vs. matrix composition

Silty Mudstone
Siliceous Mudstone 57% Si Argillaceous Mudstone Dolomitic Mudstone 57% Si

47% Clay Spiculitic Silstone

47% Dol

67% Si

Some shales are less equal than others!

Marcellus (Argillaceous)

Dominant Reservoir Facies

Haynesville (Calcareous/Argillaceous)

Barnett (Siliceous/Argillaceous)

Montney (Silty/Dolomitic)

What are gas shales?

Organic-rich shales Source rocks



silica carbonate
kerogen gas-filled porosity

Adsorbed and free gas

Ultra-low permeability

As free gas within the rock pores. As adsorbed gas on organic material. As free gas within the system of natural fractures.

Main properties of shales

they are rich in organic material (0.5% to 25%), usually they are mature petroleum source rocks in the thermogenic gas window, where high heat and pressure have converted petroleum to natural gas. they are sufficiently brittle and rigid enough to maintain open fractures. shale intervals with high natural gamma radiation are the most productive, as high gamma radiation is often correlated with high organic carbon content.

Organic content & maturity

Thermal Maturity (Ro) 2% Low: Biogenic Gas Type I Type II Type IIS Type III Type IV 10+% TOC High: Thermogenic Play No hydrocarbon Oil Wet gas Dry gas No hydrocarbon

Where they are ?

How it can be developed

Application of two techniques:
horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing

Horizontal (A) and vertical (B) wells A B

Hydraulic Fracturing

Water and Sand: 99.5%

Other: 0.5% Acid Friction Reducer Surfactant Gelling Agent Scale Inhibitor

Typical Fracture Fluid Composition for Hydraulic Fracturing for a Shale Gas Well

Shale gas extraction raises environmental concerns in relation to: 1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions, particularly the potential for increased fugitive CH4 emissions during drilling compared with drilling for conventional gas 2. the volumes of water and the chemicals used in fracking and their subsequent disposal 3. the possible risk of contaminating groundwater 4. competing land use requirements in densely populated areas 5. the physical effects of fracking in the form of increased seismic activity