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November 26, 2019

OGDCL plans to drill first shale gas pilot well in Sindh next month


November 26, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) on Monday said it planned to begin first pilot shale drilling project next month in Sindh province to test potential of tight gas in the country.

“OGDCL will start drilling to discover huge shale gas reserves in Sindh from the next month,” the state-run company said in a statement.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) in an assessment report on Pakistan in 2015 estimated the Pakistan has around 105 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable shale gas and 9.1 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil resources.

However the resources are not booked as “reserves” and need to be further rationalized through additional technical information regarding the Shale Reservoir.

“Successful exploitation of shale gas may provide Pakistan with a sustainable supply of natural gas/oil,” OGDCL said.

OGDC conducted shale gas study in Indus Basin through Weatherford, a US-based firm. The study used available data comprising petrophysical, geological, geo-physical, geo-chemical, geo-mechanical and reservoir data of over 117 wells drilled across the Indus Basin.

The company said the study shortlisted priority areas and provided geo-modelling, well design for pilot vertical and horizontal sections along with frac design, simulated production profile, and tentative cost estimates.

“In the light of the study, OGDC is planning to drill its first ever-dedicated shale gas well, KUC-01 mainly to prove the concept that the Sembar shales could also be exploited as hydrocarbon reservoir and producer,” the statement said.

“The major focus of this experimental effort is not on the economics of the well but on acquiring first hand data to bridge data gaps regarding the frackability and producibility of the Sembar shales.”

For KUC-01, being drilled as first of its type, and due to unexpected operational complications, the estimated chance of success (COS) for commercial hydrocarbon production at this point in time, is very low; around less than 10 percent, it added.

“KUC-01 is an experimental pilot project which comprises a vertical or near vertical hole to be drilled down to top of Chiltan Formation. More value and focus at KUC-01 is attached to data acquisition rather than commercial objectives.”

The statement said the drilling would provide a wealth of data regarding behavior of Sembar shales with respect to its reservoir and completion quality, productive, test of available technology and equipment etc.

The shale project is likely to help in the formulation of Shale Gas Policy and further development schemes for shale gas exploitation. Sembar Formation will be extensively cored and logged with all possible analytical tests.

Based on these results, the sweet spots will be delineated and data-fracked followed by main-fracks. Contingent upon evaluation of data and encouraging results of hydraulic fracturing in vertical pilot hole, 800m horizontal (lateral) hole will be drilled in the best sweet spot with a number of hydraulic frack stages planned in this section for optimised production.

The statement said the company is also strongly cautioned against some media reports about discovery of shale hydrocarbons, and said the information is factually incorrect. “OGDC has neither shared any information in this regard nor has drilled for any shale well yet,” the statement said.

It added that the exploration and production company was working on a Shale Pilot Project which includes drilling of shale well at a future date. Pakistan’s estimated natural gas demand is about 7-8 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) out of which less than four BCFD is produced locally. There is 50 percent of gas shortfall in the energy mix of the country.