Shale-gas assessment: Comparison of gas-in-place versus performance-based approaches

Natural Resources Research
By: , and 



The recent interest in exploration for shale gas increases the demand for a reliable, compatible resource assessment. Many different assessment methods are used, commonly depending on types and quantity of data available, which may lead to significantly divergent results for the same shale-gas play. This study compares results obtained using performance-based and gas-in-place methodologies to assess a well-developed and active shale-gas play (Woodford Shale, Arkoma Basin, USA) and two untested, hypothetical shale-gas plays (Shublik and Brookian, Alaska North Slope, USA). Results show that the two assessment methods produce comparable results when assessment units are identically defined and similar geological constraints are used as input parameters. Inherent uncertainties are associated with both assessment methods, and these are related to aspects of shale-gas production that are not well understood. The performance-based method relies on decline trend analysis to generate distributions of estimated ultimate recovery (EUR), and uncertainty increases in cases of short production history. The gas-in-place method requires the application of a recovery factor to estimate technically recoverable resources, and both absolute values of recovery factors and their spatial variability are poorly documented, and therefore a source of uncertainty.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Shale-gas assessment: Comparison of gas-in-place versus performance-based approaches
Series title Natural Resources Research
DOI 10.1007/s11053-015-9283-y
Volume 25
Issue 3
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 315
Last page 329
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