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Title: NATURAL GAS RESOURCES IN DEEP SEDIMENTARY BASINS

From a geological perspective, deep natural gas resources are generally defined as resources occurring in reservoirs at or below 15,000 feet, whereas ultra-deep gas occurs below 25,000 feet. From an operational point of view, ''deep'' is often thought of in a relative sense based on the geologic and engineering knowledge of gas (and oil) resources in a particular area. Deep gas can be found in either conventionally-trapped or unconventional basin-center accumulations that are essentially large single fields having spatial dimensions often exceeding those of conventional fields. Exploration for deep conventional and unconventional basin-center natural gas resources deserves special attention because these resources are widespread and occur in diverse geologic environments. In 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that 939 TCF of technically recoverable natural gas remained to be discovered or was part of reserve appreciation from known fields in the onshore areas and State waters of the United. Of this USGS resource, nearly 114 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically-recoverable gas remains to be discovered from deep sedimentary basins. Worldwide estimates of deep gas are also high. The U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment 2000 Project recently estimated a world mean undiscovered conventional gas resource outside the U.S. of 844more » Tcf below 4.5 km (about 15,000 feet). Less is known about the origins of deep gas than about the origins of gas at shallower depths because fewer wells have been drilled into the deeper portions of many basins. Some of the many factors contributing to the origin of deep gas include the thermal stability of methane, the role of water and non-hydrocarbon gases in natural gas generation, porosity loss with increasing thermal maturity, the kinetics of deep gas generation, thermal cracking of oil to gas, and source rock potential based on thermal maturity and kerogen type. Recent experimental simulations using laboratory pyrolysis methods have provided much information on the origins of deep gas. Technologic problems are one of the greatest challenges to deep drilling. Problems associated with overcoming hostile drilling environments (e.g. high temperatures and pressures, and acid gases such as CO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}S) for successful well completion, present the greatest obstacles to drilling, evaluating, and developing deep gas fields. Even though the overall success ratio for deep wells is about 50 percent, a lack of geological and geophysical information such as reservoir quality, trap development, and gas composition continues to be a major barrier to deep gas exploration. Results of recent finding-cost studies by depth interval for the onshore U.S. indicate that, on average, deep wells cost nearly 10 times more to drill than shallow wells, but well costs and gas recoveries vary widely among different gas plays in different basins. Based on an analysis of natural gas assessments, many topical areas hold significant promise for future exploration and development. One such area involves re-evaluating and assessing hypothetical unconventional basin-center gas plays. Poorly-understood basin-center gas plays could contain significant deep undiscovered technically-recoverable gas resources.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
833232
DOE Contract Number:
AT26-98FT40032
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 5 Feb 2002
Research Org:
Department of Interior (US)
Sponsoring Org:
(US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; 02 PETROLEUM; 04 OIL SHALES AND TAR SANDS; DRILLING; EXPLORATION; GEOLOGIC SURVEYS; KEROGEN; KINETICS; METHANE; NATURAL GAS; NATURAL GAS FIELDS; PETROLEUM; POROSITY; PYROLYSIS; SEDIMENTARY BASINS; SOURCE ROCKS; STABILITY; THERMAL CRACKING; WELL COMPLETION