Shale PVT Estimation Based on Readily Available Field Data

This week we wanted to highlight and share a paper we think everyone in tight unconventionals should read, namely URTEC-1884129-MS, “Shale PVT Estimation Based on Readily Available Field Data” by Tao Yang et al. The paper is a few years old now, but is a “go-to” paper on using mud gas for PVT predictions.

Fluid characterization factor for the Eagle Ford (left) and saturation pressure and GOR (right).

Accurate estimation of reservoir fluid richness is important for liquid rich shale development, as it can impact drilling targets and well completions. However, obtaining PVT (Pressure, Volume, Temperature) data from shale reservoirs is difficult due to the low permeability of the reservoirs. Statoil/Talisman collected a large number of PVT samples and measured PVT properties for the Eagle Ford field over a two-year period. Based on this database, a new method was developed to estimate in-situ reservoir fluid composition and corresponding PVT properties based on readily available field data, such as API gravity of surface condensate/oil, gas-oil ratio (GOR), surface gas composition, or mud logging gas data. This method has been applied in various business areas and has led to significant improvements, including production optimization for new wells without PVT data, estimating fluid richness based on limited field data in early phases of shale play evaluation, and using mud logging gas data to provide real-time interpretation of reservoir fluid type and GOR. Overall, the new method is a technical breakthrough for Shale PVT and has many potential applications.

Want to learn more? Download the paper →→→here←←←.


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whitson supports energy companies, oil services companies, investors and government organizations with expertise and expansive analysis within PVT, gas condensate reservoirs and gas-based EOR. Our coverage ranges from R&D based industry studies to detailed due diligence, transaction or court case projects. We help our clients find the best possible answers to complex questions and assist them in the successful decision-making on technical challenges. We do this through a continuous, transparent dialog with our clients – before, during and after our engagement. The company was founded by Dr. Curtis Hays Whitson in 1988 and is a Norwegian corporation located in Trondheim, Norway, with local presence in USA, Middle East, India and Indonesia.