Bakken Shale Oil Production Trends
As the conventional reservoirs decrease in discovering, producing and reserving, unconventional reservoirs are more remarkable in terms of discovering, development and having more reserve. More fields have been discovered where Barnett Shale and Bakken Shale are the most recently unconventional reservoir examples. Shale reservoirs are typically considered self-sourcing and have very low permeability ranging from 10-100 nanodarcies. Over the past few decades, numerous research projects and developments have been studied, but it seems there is still some contention and misunderstanding surrounding shale reservoirs. One of the largest shale in the United State is the Bakken Shale play. This study will describe the primary geologic characteristics, field development history, reservoir properties,and especially production trends, over the Bakken Shale play. Data are available for over hundred wells from different companies. Most production data come from the Production Data Application (HDPI) database and in the format of monthly production for oil, water and gas. Additional 95 well data including daily production rate, completion, Pressure Volume Temperature (PVT), pressure data are given from companies who sponsor for this research study. This study finds that there are three Types of well production trends in the Bakken formation. Each decline curve characteristic has an important meaning to the production trend of the Bakken Shale play. In the Type I production trend, the reservoir pressure drops below bubble point pressure and gas releasingout of the solution. With the Type II production trend, oil flows linearly from the matrix into the fracture system, either natural fracture or hydraulic fracture. Reservoir pressure is higher than the bubble point pressure during the producing time and oil flows as a single phase throughout the production period of the well. A Type III production trend typically has scattering production data from wells with a different Type of trend. It is difficult to study this Type of behavior because of scattering data, which leads to erroneous interpretation for the analysis. These production Types, especially Types I and II will give a new type curve matches for shale oil wells above or below the bubble point.
Tran, Tan (2011). Bakken Shale Oil Production Trends. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from