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San Juan Basin - Naturally-Fractured, Tight Gas Sandstone Reservoirs


"Tight" sandstones (matrix permeability <0.1 md) are important gas exploration and development targets in western Canada as the result of sustained high gas prices, advances in drilling and completion technology, and a huge resource base. However, it is very difficult to evaluate such reservoirs using conventional assessment methods, and geologists require assistance in identifying economic opportunities in a wide variety of structural and stratigraphic settings. Many of these opportunities will arise from natural fracturing, which enhances reservoir permeability, and can occur in low-deformation structural settings.
Three regional fractures sets developed on Dakota Sandstone surface, San Ysidro

3D Seismic expression of a 15 BCF gas well (left) and a 5 BCF gas well (middle), producing from the Mesaverde Group
Cretaceous sandstones of the San Juan Basin present excellent analogues for "tight" gas sandstones reservoirs of western Canada, in outcrop and in the subsurface. The Mesaverde Group and Dakota Formation have produced more than 15 TCF, and estimated ultimate recoveries exceed 25 TCF. Production trends suggest that in the future, up to one half of U.S. domestic production will be from similar "tight" sand targets. In Canada, the "tight" gas resource base can be measured in hundreds of TCF, but its exploitation is only beginning.

Petrel Robertson Consulting's San Juan Basin field trip will examine structural and stratigraphic controls on fracture development and reservoir quality in tight Cretaceous sandstones. We will travel from Albuquerque to Durango (CO), examining various outcrops along the eastern and northern margins of the San Juan Basin. Field trip stops will be supplemented by lectures describing controls on stratigraphic architecture, fracturing, hydrocarbon production in the San Juan Basin, and the seismic characteristics of productive "sweet spots". Tight gas production in western Canada will also be discussed in the context of the field exposures.


Schedule:       Participants will travel to Albuquerque, NM where introductory lectures will be held. We will drive along the eastern and northern margins of the basin, overnighting in Chama, Farmington, and Durango.
Cost:       Tuition includes instruction, vehicle rental, guidebooks, and box lunches. Participants are responsible for all airfares, lodging, other meals, and incidental expenses.



Course Dates: By Request Only



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For more information contact:

Leslie Sears
Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.
500, 736- 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 1H4

Phone: (403) 218-1618
Fax: (403) 262-9135
lsears@petrelrob.com
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