Gas, oil, and water production data for tight gas reservoirs were compiled from selected wells in western Colorado. These reservoir rocks-the relatively shallow Paleogene Wasatch G sandstone interval in the Parachute and Rulison fields and fluvial sandstones in the deeper Upper Cretaceous Mesaverde Group in the Grand Valley, Parachute, Rulison, and Mamm Creek fields-are characterized by low permeability, low porosity, and the presence of clay minerals in pore space. Production from each well is represented by two samples spaced five years apart, the first sample typically taken two years after production commenced, which was generally in the 1990s. For each producing interval, summary diagrams of oil-versus-gas and water-versus-gas production show fluid production rates, the change in rates during five years, the water-gas and oil-gas ratios, and the fluid type. These diagrams permit well-to-well and field-to-field comparisons. Fields producing water at low rates (water dissolved in gas in the reservoir) can be distinguished from fields producing water at moderate or high rates, and the water-gas ratios are quantified.
Dry gas is produced from the Wasatch G interval and wet gas is produced from the Mesaverde Group. Production from the Wasatch G interval is also almost completely free of water, but water production commences with gas production in wells producing from the Mesaverde Group-all of these wells have water-gas ratios exceeding the amount that could exist dissolved in gas at reservoir temperature and pressure. The lack of produced water from the Wasatch G interval is attributed to expansion of the gas accumulation with uplift and erosion. The reported underpressure of the Wasatch G interval is here attributed to hydraulic connection to the atmosphere by outcrops in the Colorado River valley at an elevation lower than that of the gas fields.
The amount of reduction of gas production over the five-year time span between the first and second samples is roughly one-half, with median values of second-sample to first-sample gas-production ratios ranging from 0.40 for Rulison-Mesaverde to 0.63 for Rulison-Wasatch G. Commencing with the first sample, the logarithm-of-production rate appears to decline linearly with time in many wells. However, water production is much more erratic as a function of time from an individual well and also from one well to the next within a field. Water production can either decrease or increase with time (from the first to the second sample). In this study, slightly more than half the wells producing from the Mesaverde Group show decreases in water production with time. Plots of water decline versus gas decline show little relation between the two, with only the wells in Rulison field displaying some tendency for water and gas to decline proportionately
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Gas, Oil, and Water Production from Grand Valley, Parachute, Rulison, and Mamm Creek Fields in the Piceance Basin, Colorado
U.S. Geological Survey
Central Energy Resources Science Center
v, 28 p.; Appendices; 6 Plates - Plate 1: 24 x 16 inches, Plate 2: 24 x 16 inches, Plate 3 24 x 16 inches, Plate 4: 24 x 16 inches, Plate 5: 24 x 16 inches, Plate 6: 24 x 16 inches