Abstract

As unconventional resources continue to be the focus of many operating companies, applications of cost-efficient practices along with technological advancements in drilling and completion will continue to be key enablers for efficiency and obtaining economies of scale. However, this pursuit of efficiency has led to a perception that developing these resources is strictly an engineering-optimization endeavor. This perception suppresses the value of geophysics in addressing uncertainties related to reservoir quality and completion effectiveness. Eventually, it may hinder unlocking the full potential of these resources. Despite this narrative about efficiency versus effectiveness, geophysics is challenged by inherent constraints such as noise, resolution of data, and the ability to identify economic sweet-spot fairways. Therefore, geophysicists encounter difficulties quantifying the value of geophysics in unconventional resource plays and struggle expressing it in economic terms. This paper sheds light on an SEG workshop, “Maximizing the value of geophysics in unconventional resource plays,” that was conducted in Dubai in October 2018. A total of 52 attendees from 17 companies and nine countries took home one common message: “How can my geophysical work positively impact the bottom line, i.e., $/BOE.” The workshop addressed questions related to how the value of geophysics can be realized and measured throughout the unconventional asset life cycle and how this value can be maximized and expressed in economic terms.

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