chapter  7
30 Pages

Optimal Well Design for Enhanced Stimulation Fluids Recovery and Flowback Treatment in the Marcellus Shale Gas Development using Integrated Technologies

The advent of intensified exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale has brought benefits and challenges to the area. An enormous investment is being made in developing extraction technologies to effectively recover natural gas from tight formations that is very low permeability [1]. Directional drilling technologies alongside hydraulic fracturing have made formations once considered uneconomical, an investor’s hub. The combination of directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing is quintessential in accessing the pay zone efficiently and also creating a network of fractures in the formation, which enables an optimal recovery of the reservoir fluid [2,3]. Wells are enhanced considerably using the hydraulic fracturing method, especially in the Marcellus Shale with an estimated 516 trillion

cubic feet (TCF) of gas in place [4]. This capacity makes the Marcellus Shale economically important to the world’s strategic energy prospects. Several analyst have made different estimates of the gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale, with new studies, more accurate estimates are possible in the near future. At present the formation is estimated to contain approximately 1,307 TCF [5] Activities in the region have increased exponentially, triggering a queue of investors eager to take part in the booming energy venture. Towards this end, there has been a huge capital intensive investment in the Marcellus Shale by some international energy firms in developing productive fields, providing advanced technology and in the exploration of the natural resource of interest (gas). Details on the activities involving shale gas developments have been resented in other literatures [6-14]. The waste generated due to increasing exploration remains a problem [15-17], there are constraints in form of regulations that demand that the waste water be treated before re injected into the natural flow. This paper presents a reservoir simulation identifying the most prolific drilling design and also provides cost effective solution to tackling the problem of water usage for hydraulic fracturing purposes, load recovery (flow-back), waste water treatment and energy consumption.