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Abstract

Helper field, located on the southwestern flank of the Uinta Basin in central Utah, produces gas from multiple coal seams and interbedded sandstone within the Upper Cretaceous Ferron Sandstone Member of the Mancos Shale. Subsurface mapping, along with coal and sandstone petrophysical properties obtained from two exploratory wells drilled in 1993, led to the drilling of a five well exploratory pilot program that established gas sales in 1994. Drilling from 1995 through 2003 resulted in the completion of 111 additional coalbed methane wells. In mid-2003, Helper field was producing 35 mmcfg/day and production was increasing as pressure draw down continued. Full field development is anticipated at 125 wells.

Drilling success and production optimization at Helper field has been accomplished through a multidisciplinary approach that integrates detailed geological mapping, reservoir simulation modeling, and completion techniques. Detailed decompacted stratigraphic well-log cross sections, and mapping of eight coal seams and interbedded sandstone identified two sea-level transgressions within the Ferron Sandstone. A multi-layer reservoir simulation model was developed to account for total fluid production, improving production forecasts. Hydraulic fracture stimulation designs and completion practices have evolved over time based on new drilling, production, and 3-D fracture simulation modeling.

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