An Investigation of Regional Variations of Barnett Shale Reservoir Properties, and Resulting Variability of Hydrocarbon Composition and Well Performance
In 2007, the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth basin of Texas produced 1.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) gas and ranked second in U.S gas production. Despite its importance, controls on Barnett Shale gas well performance are poorly understood. Regional and vertical variations of reservoir properties and their effects on well performances have not been assessed. Therefore, we conducted a study of Barnett Shale stratigraphy, petrophysics, and production, and we integrated these results to clarify the controls on well performance. Barnett Shale ranges from 50 to 1,100 ft thick; we divided the formation into 4 reservoir units that are significant to engineering decisions. All but Reservoir Unit 1 (the lower reservoir unit) are commonly perforated in gas wells. Reservoir Unit 1 appears to be clay-rich shale and ranges from 10 to 80 ft thick. Reservoir Unit 2 is laminated, siliceous mudstone and marly carbonate zone, 20 to 300 ft thick. Reservoir Unit 3 is composed of multiple, stacked, thin (~15-30 ft thick), upward coarsening sequences of brittle carbonate and siliceous units interbedded with ductile shales; thickness ranges from 0 to 500 ft. Reservoir Unit 4, the upper Barnett Shale is composed dominantly of shale interbedded with upward coarsening, laterally persistent, brittle/ductile sequences ranging from 0 to 100 ft thick. Gas production rates vary directly with Barnett Shale thermal maturity and structural setting. For the following five production regions that encompass most of the producing wells, Peak Monthly gas production from horizontal wells decreases as follows: Tier 1 (median production 60 MMcf) to Core Area to Parker County to Tier 2 West to Oil Zone-Montague County (median production 10 MMcf). The Peak Monthly oil production from horizontal wells is in the inverse order of gas production; median Peak Monthly oil production is 3,000 bbl in the Oil Zone-Montague County and zero in Tier 1. Generally, horizontal wells produce approximately twice as much oil and gas as vertical wells.This research clarifies regional variations of reservoir and geologic properties of the Barnett Shale. Result of these studies should assist operators with optimization of development strategies and gas recovery from the Barnett Shale.
Tian, Yao (2010). An Investigation of Regional Variations of Barnett Shale Reservoir Properties, and Resulting Variability of Hydrocarbon Composition and Well Performance. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from