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PetroVR Selected for Integration and Construction of Planning Models

PetroVR Selected for Integration and Construction of Planning Models


Unconventional resource plays, and shale gas plays in particular, are generally characterized by lower geologic risk and higher commercial risk. Large, continuous accumulations of tight, often naturally-fractured shale serve as both a hydrocarbon source and a potentially-productive reservoir. The likelihood of commercial production is a primary uncertainty in these plays, resolved in part by drilling pilot (appraisal) wells. The need to understand the range of potential for commercial realization places a heavy burden on the economic evaluation process. This requires maximum insight into the basis for a decision to pursue or not pursue any particular shale gas resource play. Beyond this, a consistent approach to economic evaluation is of critical importance when comparing the economics of various plays. Without consistency, comparison of multiple shale gas plays becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible.

This paper describes a consistent, systematic process employed in the evaluation of a number of shale gas plays, how various software applications were deployed, the vital role of multi-disciplinary participation, iterative modeling efforts and conclusions. In a general sense, we believe the lessons learned here can be applied either to unconventional or conventional upstream oil and gas projects.

“After considering several stochastic spreadsheet models as well as industry accepted economic software packages, PetroVR® from Aucerna (formerly Caesar Systems), was selected as the primary tool for integration and construction of planning models, based on the following attributes:

“Project-driven input logic which lends itself to multidiscipline collaboration; e.g. each shale play could be modeled from the reservoir to the sales point”

“Flexibility in building distributions around any input variable in the model”

“Ease of documentation and restorability of data input”

“In-house expertise and product availability”

Author: William M. Gray, SPE, Troy A. Hoefer, SPE, and Andrea Chiappe, SPE, Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc.; and Victor H. Koosh, SPE, Aucerna (formerly Caesar Petroleum Systems, LLC)

Source: Copyright 2007, Society of Petroleum Engineers

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