Exploration and Production Technologies

Innovative Methodology for Detection of Fractured Controlled Sweet Spots in the Northern Appalachians

DE-AC26-00NT40698

Goal
The aims of the project are to evaluate a number of exploration tools currently used in the petroleum industry to locate fracture-controlled gas accumulations in New York State. These tools include aeromagnetic surveys, soil gas sampling surveys, surface fracture mapping, lineament recognition, well logs, and seismic. The Finger Lakes region of New York became the target area for more detailed mapping and sampling surveys based on the aeromagnetic trends and the linear features of producing horizons in the Trenton to Black River formations. Evaluation of the E&P tools completed Phase 1 of the project.

Phase 2 goals were to locate a prime target area based on aeromagnetic features, geologic fracture mapping, and soil gas surveys and to run seismic to define a drilling target. A well completed in a producing reservoir would be the ultimate test of the value of integration of these technologies for gas exploration in the Appalachian Basin.

Performers
State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo), Amherst, NY
Nornew, Inc., Amherst, NY
Fortuna Energy, Inc., Horseheads, NY
McGill Seismic Research Group, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Pearson, deRidder and Johnson, Inc., Lakewood, CO

Results
Phase 1 has been completed. Accomplishments include the following:

  • Regional aeromagnetic surveys were obtained and interpreted relative to basement lithology and structure to identify large linear features.
  • Fracture mapping and soil gas surveys defined fracture orientations that influence the distribution of gas in the deep reservoirs over basement faulting.
  • Several targets were identified and accepted as well locations in the study area. After several starts with a number of operators, the subcontractor obtained access to a horizontal well with a company that would allow a core and well logs to be run as part of its development drilling operation.

Benefits
Results of this project should lead to an increased understanding of regional- and field-scale dolomitized reservoirs in the Appalachian Basin and may be exportable to other domestic oil and gas producing basins. Results will likely lead to new, reduced-risk exploration and step-out development play concepts as well as a better and more complete understanding of the local subsurface distribution of reservoirs to guide enhanced production efforts close to a high-demand customer base.

Background
The Appalachian Basin is a mature hydrocarbon basin that has been recognized by the petroleum industry as a substantial gas producer from shallow (less than 5,000 ft) reservoirs.

Current activity in the basin is mostly concentrated on development of unconventional gas and deeper reservoir exploration. For example, the US Geological Survey estimates 1.7 trillion cubic feet of gas potential just in the Devonian shale formations. Current production rates in the Trenton and Black River formations are greater than any previous production and volumetrically above USGS estimates for the basin. Several DOE NETL research projects are providing characterization information on these significant dolomite reservoirs for future development.

Summary
Phase 2 of the project consisted of drilling a horizontal well to retrieve core samples in the fractured dolomite play as part of the SUNY-Buffalo contract.

The well was drilled to over 9,700 feet MD to a core point at which time the coring equipment was deployed and two successive runs were made into the Black River dolomite just below the Trenton Formation contact. Core was obtained from both core runs and was sent to Core Laboratories for reservoir characterization analysis. A portion of the core will be returned to SUNY Buffalo for more detailed evaluation of fluid inclusions and integration of the core data.

A well logging suite was run to verify fracturing over the entire length of the horizontal section upon completion of the drilling. The operation was a success. SUNY-Buffalo, Nornew, and Fortuna Energy participated in the well demonstration project as part of Phase 2 to verify a fractured reservoir in the northern part of the Appalachian Basin.

Current Status (July 2007)
The final report has been written and all the project work has been completed.

Funding
The contract was funded through a FY2000 request for proposals and selected as part of the Advanced Diagnostic and Imaging technology area to develop a better understanding and application of integrated exploration and production tools in the Appalachian Basin. Several aspects of this project were cofunded or coordinated with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Project Start: May 31, 2000
Project End: March 31, 2007

Anticipated DOE Contribution: $ 911,505
Performer Contribution: $ 775,810 (46 percent of total)

Contact Information:
NETL – Chandra Nautiyal (chandra.nautiyal@netl.doe.gov or 918-699-2021)
SUNY – Robert Jacobi (rdjacobi@acsu.buffalo.edu or 716-645-6800)

Additional Information:
Surface Fracture Image
Exposed Fracture Image

Pertinent Publications:
Lugert, Courtney M., Jacobi, Robert D., When, Karen, S., and Fountain, John, 2001, Tracing deep structure: Fractures analysis in the Finger Lakes region of the Appalachian Plateau, NYS: Geol. Soc. Am., Annual Meeting Program, v. 33, n. 6, A-394.

Nelson, Travis, Fountain, John, Budney, Lucas, and Jacobi, Robert, 2001, Tracing deep structure: soil gas analyses in the Finger Lakes region of the Appalachian Plateau, NYS: Geol. Soc. Am., Annual Meeting Program, v. 33, n. 6, A-236.

Lugert, Courtney M., Jacobi, Robert D., Wehn, Karen S., Fountain, John C., and Zybala, Jon G., 2002, Coincidence of fracture intensification domains with Trenton-Black River faulting in the Finger Lakes region, New York State: Part 1, Seneca Lake: Geol. Soc. Am., Northeastern Section Annual Meeting (Springfield, MA) Abstracts, v. 34, n. 1, p. A-3.

Wehn, Karen S., Lugert, Courtney M., Jacobi, Robert D., Fountain, John C., and Zybala, Jon G., 2002, Coincidence of fracture intensification domains with Trenton-Black River faulting in the Finger Lakes region, New York State: Part II, Cayuga Lake: Geol. Soc. Am., Northeastern Section Annual Meeting (Springfield, MA) Abstracts, v. 34, n. 1, p. A-3.

Jacobi, Robert D., Fountain, John C., Lugert, Courtney M., Wehn, Karen S., Nelson, Travis, Budney, Lucas, and Zybala, Jon G., 2002, Fracture Intensification Domains, fracture flow, and Trenton-Black River faults in the Finger Lakes region, NYS: Geol. Soc. Am., Northeastern Section Annual Meeting (Springfield, MA) Abstracts, v. 34, n. 1, p. A-11.

Jacobi, Robert D., Fountain, John C., Nelson, Travis, and Lugert, Courtney M., 2002, Reactivated Precambrian faults in the Appalachian Basin of NYS: Geol. Soc. Am., Abstracts with programs, v. 34, n. 6, p. 79.

Jacobi, Robert D., 2002, Basement faults and seismicity in the Appalachian Basin of New York State, in Neotectonics and Seismicity in the Eastern Great Lakes Basin, R. H. Fakundiny, R. D. Jacobi, and C. F. M. Lewis (eds.): Tectonophysics, v. 353, p.75-113.

Robert D. Jacobi, John Fountain, Courtney Lugert, Travis Nelson, Gerald Smith, and Industrial Associates, 2003, Characteristics of Trenton/Black River structures in the Finger Lakes: Progress Report": Central New York Association of Professional Geologists 2003 Spring Symposium; Syracuse, NY; p. (rdj) 1-23.

Robert D. Jacobi, John Fountain, Courtney Lugert, Travis Nelson, Gerald Smith, Thomas Mroz, and John Martin, 2003, Identifying Trenton/Black River targets in the northern Appalachian Basin (NYS): Demonstration of integrated exploration tools: American Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Annual Meeting program, v. 12, p. A44

Jacobi, Robert D., Loewenstein, Stuart, Smith, Gerald, Fountain, John, and Nelson, Travis, 2004, Faults and hydrocarbon resources in the Appalachian Basin of New York State: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 36, n. 2, p.146.

Cheri Dreschel, Robert Jacobi, John Everett, and Ron Staskowski, 2004, ASTER lineaments, faults, and reservoirs in the Appalachian basin of New York State: Geol. Soc. Am., (Washington) Abstracts with programs, v. 36, n. 2, p. 146.

Travis Nelson. John Fountain, and Robert Jacobi, 2004, The relationship of state-wide soil gas surveys to fracture data and lineaments: delineation of subsurface structures related to hydrocarbons: Geol. Soc. Am., (Washington) Abstracts with programs, v. 36, n. 2, p. 146.

Robert D. Jacobi, Gerald Smith, John Fountain, JP Fagan, and Industrial Associates, 2004, Fault systems in New York State and carbonate reservoirs: Trenton/Black River and younger plays: American Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Annual Meeting (Dallas) Annual Meeting Program, v. 13, p. A70.

Everett, John. R., Staskowski, Ronald J., and Jacobi, Robert D., 2004, Geochemical indications of fractured carbonate reservoirs in New York from ASTER data: American Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Annual Meeting Program, v. 12, p. A43.

Jacobi, Robert D., Loewenstein, Stuart, Smith, Gerald, Fountain, John, Lugert, Courtney, and Martin, John, 2004b, Iapetan Opening/Rome Trough-Related Faults and Their Reactivation History in New York State: AAPG Eastern Section Meeting Abstracts, http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/abstracts/2004eastern/jacobi02.htm

Jacobi, Robert D., Stuart Loewenstein, Gerald Smith, John Fountain, Courtney Lugert, Tom Mroz, and John Martin, 2004, Fault Systems and the Trenton/Black River Play in New York State: AAPG Eastern Section Meeting Abstracts, http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/abstracts/2004eastern/jacobi01.htm

Lugert, Courtney M., and Jacobi, Robert D., 2004, Tracing deep structure: fracture analysis in the Finger Lakes region of the Appalachian Plateau, New York State: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, in press.

Cruz, Cheri, Jacobi, Robert D., Everett, John R., and Staskowski, Ronald J., 2004, Aster and Landsat lineaments in central NYS: Image processing and groundtruthing for fractures: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, in press.

Jacobi, Robert, and Loewenstein, Stu, 2004, Ordovician fault systems in the Appalachian Basin of New York State: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, in press.

Jacobi, Robert, and Loewenstein, Stuart, submitted, Ordovician structural styles and carbonate reservoirs in the Appalachian Basin of New York State: American Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bulletin.

Jacobi, R. D., Loewenstein, S., and Smith, G. 2005: Seismic Data Bearing on Iapetan Opening/Rome Trough-Related Faults, Their Reactivation History and Effect on Deposition: AAPG National Meeting Abstracts, in press

Smith, G. J., and Jacobi, R. D., 2005, The Influence of Basement Structures on Upper Devonian Deposition in New York State: AAPG National Meeting Abstracts, in press

"Fractures, lineaments, and reservoirs: interim report of the NYSERDA/DOE Finger Lakes Project" by Robert Jacobi at the Independent Oil and Gas Association of NY Summer Meeting; Peek'n Peek Resort, Clymer, NY, July 10-11, 2002

"Characteristics of Trenton/Black River structures in the Finger Lakes: Progress Report" by Robert D. Jacobi, John Fountain, Courtney Lugert, Travis Nelson, Gerald Smith, and Industrial Associates at the Central New York Association of Professional Geologists 2003 Spring Symposium; Syracuse, NY; April 2, 2003. 

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