Technical papers

Using Reservoir Modeling To Evaluate Stimulation Effectiveness in Multilayered “Tight” Gas Reservoirs: A Case History in the Pinedale Anticline Area (SPE 100574)


Concludes conductivity is key to obtaining effective fractures in the Pinedale Anticline.  Modeling shows effective fracture length improves with better proppant quality - providing up to 100 million scf incremental production.


Low permeability, or “tight”, gas reservoirs are being developed at an ever increasing rate in the U.S. The amazing increase in activity in the Rocky Mountain region over the past decade is a testament to this. Currently, there are several “tight” gas plays in the U.S. that involve the commingling of multiple intervals in order to gain economic viability. The Pinedale Anticline of southwestern Wyoming is one of these areas. The Pinedale Anticline completions pose a particularly complex problem when attempting to evaluate the “best” method of stimulation because as many as twenty-two separate stimulation treatments are placed in up to 70 discrete sand intervals over a gross interval up to 6,000 feet thick. Evaluations are further complicated by variation in permeability exceeding two orders of magnitude and pore pressures increasing from 0.44 psi/ft to 0.83 psi/ft.

The analysis of “tight” gas reservoirs has been the topic of many SPE papers over the past twenty years. Several have presented data indicating the broadness of the permeability distribution which may be encountered when developing these reservoirs.[1,2,3] The broadness of the permeability distribution, often over two orders of magnitude in breadth, poses a statistical problem when trying to simply compare production response of one set of data to another in a given field. We will quantify the significance of this and present statistical evaluations documenting the probability of obtaining two similar data sets with respect to permeability when broad distributions exist. We then compare the size of the sample set necessary to quantify stimulation effectiveness using production alone with the sample size required when using reservoir simulation.

The reservoir simulation analysis presented in the paper demonstrates a process for use in multiple layered reservoirs for evaluating stimulation effectiveness. The process requires significantly fewer field tests than if production rates were used alone. Multiple production logs were utilized over several producing months in selected wells and are crucial to the production history match process. A wide variety of proppant products are investigated and compared to expected performance from published specifications. This paper will aid engineers working in multi-layered reservoirs understand the complexity of the evaluation process and give them a process for evaluating stimulation effectiveness in their reservoirs.

Author(s): S.K. Schubarth, SPE, SPE, Schubarth Inc.; J.P. Spivey, Phoenix Reservoir Software LLC; and P.T. Huckabee, Shell E&P Co.

Paper Number: SPE 100574



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