Sedimentary rocks? Check. Shale resources? Check. Fracturing technology? Get fracking!
Shale gas is becoming increasingly important source of natural gas across the world with estimates of more than 15000 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), however what limits the extraction is the required technology. America and Canada, being self-sufficient in that area, are currently leading the market with significant amount of shale gas production. Areas around the world have identified technically recoverable shale gas and more is being explored each day. In a report by U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA), Pakistan is listed among the top 10 countries of the world with the largest shale oil reserves.
LMKR has also been actively involved in conducting research studies on the potential of shale gas in Pakistan. Recently we focused on three sedimentary basins of Pakistan; Indus, Balochistan, and Pasheen, with the latter two being the least explored, and Indus being the highlight and the only well-explored basin in Pakistan. Indus basin is further divided into three main divisions; upper, middle, and lower. During our study of the middle and lower Indus basin, jointly conducted with Nutech, we evaluated key formations of Ghazij, Ranikot, Lower Goru, and Sembar. About 124 wells were used to study the potential of the shale gas in detail. Core and Cutting analysis, Geochemical analysis, Petrophysical and Geomechanical analysis, Property modeling, Production forecast (production simulation) and Recovery Factor calculations were done during the study. The research resulted in establishing that the potential of shale gas in this area is 95 Tcf.
We also delivered a comprehensive study on unconventional prospects to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL), Pakistan. The prime objective of this study was to highlight and rank the prospective formations, their lateral and vertical extents, and most importantly delineation of the areas of high concentrations. We used 10 wells to study and completed Geological mappings, Petrographic and Petrophysical analyses, 2D Seismic interpretation, Geochemical and Mineralogical analyses, and Unconventional play characterization. The constructive outcome of this evaluation study helped KPOGCL professionals identify and prioritize areas for further studies on the shortlisted shale, carbonate, and sand units.
Countries across the world are exploring their shale gas potential and some are already producing shale gas in commercial quantities. Since the required technology is not available everywhere and there are forever rising concerns of production waste, surface impact, and other environmental issues, even the areas with high reserves of shale are unable to perform extraction. In essence, the worldwide implementation of shale gas production technologies is still pending. Pakistan also has a good potential of shale gas/oil production in the future. Our studies revealed many areas in Pakistan which are suitable for unconventional extraction of hydrocarbons, owing to the fact that the risks involved with extraction are relatively low in these areas. The research also indicated the presence of tight sands having trillions of cubic feet of recoverable reserves. Key shale formations of upper Indus basin lie in oil window with recoverable reserves of multibillion barrels of oil. It’s only a matter of time and resources when Pakistan would also be one of the contributors to the worldwide oil/gas market.