Predicting the in-situ bulk chemical composition and physical properties of petroleum fluids in the Eagle Ford Shale: translating process understanding for optimizing production
Depending on fluid composition, there is a real risk that phase separation can occur through a lack of confining pressure during production from shale reservoirs, thereby resulting in sudden changes in relative permeability and associated drops in production rate. This is especially the case where maturity ranges from light oil to gas condensate. Such is the situation for the Eagle Ford shale, a Cretaceous formation in south eastern Texas, USA, one of the most prolific unconventional resource plays worldwide.
This project will investigate among other things the fluid compositional evolution as a function of increasing maturity as well as the geochemical heterogeneity of the Eagle Ford shale. The main analytical focus will be to divide the Eagle Ford into petroleum type organofacies and bulk kinetic assemblages using samples both from within the study area and elsewhere, integrating them into a representative maturity series. Key facies will be numerically modelled in order to correlate bulk composition, transformation ratio and PVT properties.