Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Development of Non-Contaminating Cryogenic Fracturing Technology for Shale and Tight Gas Reservoirs
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Pioneer Natural Resources
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The objective of the project is to study, test and develop an innovative technology for enhanced gas recovery (EGR) from low-permeability shale gas and tight gas reservoirs. In particular, the proposed research is focused on developing a novel cryogenic fracturing technology for significant reduction of flow resistance near wells and increase mobile gas volume in unconventional gas reservoirs.
The proposed research project consists of the following three tasks: (1) experimental study of a cryogenic fracturing technology; (2) investigation of shale and tight-rock cryogenic fracturing processes and conditions; and (3) field demonstration and assessment of permeability-improvement, if the technology shows potential to be effective in fracturing in laboratory. We will fulfill the project objectives and complete all the tasks during a three-year effort.
The novel approach of cryogenic fracturing stimulation, once proven and completed, will make significant contributions in an environmentally sound manner to commercial gas production and ultimately improve recovery from shale and tight gas reservoirs. In particular, the proposed development will potentially revolutionize unconventional gas production from low-permeability reservoirs by non-contaminating cryogenic fracturing technology without using water or other fracturing fluids. This research is strategically important to our future energy needs and our nationís economy. In addition, the technology developed from this research can be applied not only to shale and tight sandstone gas formations, but also to oil production in various low-permeability reservoirs as well as other subsurface resource and environmental projects.
Principal Investigator: Yu-Shu Wu, CSM
Doe Share: $1,991,000
Recipient Share: $2,600,000
Project Duration: 3 years