In the oil and gas industry, the term Unconventional refers to resources that differ from conventional reserves in terms of reservoir properties and extraction methods. These resources are typically more difficult and costly to extract compared to conventional reserves.
The difference between Conventional and Unconventional
Conventional resources refer to oil and gas trapped in reservoirs with rock properties, that make it relatively easy to produce. Often the natural pressure of the underground rock formation allows oil and gas to flow freely up a petroleum well. Resources trapped in reservoirs with less optimal rock properties, that make production difficult, are referred to as unconventional resources.
Unconventional oil and gas sources include:
Shale oil and gas: Shale formations contain oil and natural gas that are trapped within the rock. The shale has porosity, but very low or no permeability, which prevents the natural flow of the oil and gas.
Oil Sands: Oil sands are a mixture of sand, water, clay, and bitumen - a very thick form of oil.
Coalbed Methane: This unconventional natural gas is trapped in coal seams.
The development and extraction of unconventional resources involve more complex and technologically advanced methods compared to traditional oil and gas drilling. For instance, hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, steam injection, and other specialized techniques are commonly used in these unconventional resource extraction processes. Due to the complexity of the production methods, unconventional resources are more expensive to produce than conventional resources.
The oil and gas industry's focus on unconventional resources has expanded significantly in recent years due to the growing demand for energy and the depletion of easily accessible conventional reserves. However, the extraction of unconventional resources has also raised environmental and social concerns due to the intensive methods required and potential impacts on water resources, land, and communities near extraction sites.
Cegal and Unconventional
Cegal provides a software solution known as Blueback Wells Toolbox, specifically designed to assist geoscientists involved in projects that involve extensive well-data, such as those in unconventional plays. The functionalities of the Wells Toolbox are equally beneficial in conventional fields, exemplified by its application in managing all wells in the North Sea. As an integral component of our comprehensive Blueback Toolbox suite, the Wells Toolbox is crafted to optimize Petrel workflows. It enhances Petrel's extensibility, particularly in scenarios with a multitude of wells, ultimately delivering value to both geologists and geophysicists by streamlining processes and enriching the overall user experience.