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Unconventional Assets

Do more with less:  Plan fewer, more productive wells.

With E&P companies re-evaluating their well spacing designs and drilling strategies in the current context of oil price volatility, the ones that will thrive are those that can optimize costs.  AspenTech Subsurface Science & Engineering (SSE) technology, which uses advanced science to deliver highly accurate results, can help its customers minimize their operational costs and maximize return on their investment.

How does AspenTech help you optimize returns from your unconventional plays in tight economics?

  • Evaluate existing acreage:  Assemble all data related to a field for a regional perspective of an asset.
  • Generate a more accurate characterization of a shale play (fractures, mineralogy, facies, TOC):  Use all related borehole and seismic data and methods. Identify sweet spot zones.
  • Understand shale heterogeneity:  Model fractures and properties to evaluate heterogeneities and data correlations with sweet spots.
  • Filter productive from non-productive acreage: Model induced activated fault network with new stimulation path technologies that use microseismic data. Evaluate current stimulated zones against field parameters (e.g. well spacing, orientation). Evaluate horizontal drilling practices:  Geosteer new and existing wells with alternative data (geomechanical, image density logs). Evaluate current depthing procedures.

Scrutinize assets and re-rank them through high definition seismic processing and imaging.

Today’s oil and gas market is forcing explorationists to narrow their search and focus on their most profitable core assets.  In order to do this, they need advanced technologies to help them image and interpret their seismic data, which is now more relevant than ever.  The AspenTech SSE unconventional solution uses a patented, proven and highly effective technology for full-azimuth imaging and characterization, for recovering in-situ properties from surface recorded seismic data, mapping surface recorded seismic data into continuous and full-azimuth gathers in depth.

The SSE seismic imaging, characterization and interpretation suite offers excellent tools for estimating brittleness, ductility, and total organic carbon (TOC) from seismic data. Seismic property to rock property transformations, together with modeling methods, can be used to map spatial reservoir distributions of these properties, a key to understanding reservoir quality and prospectivity.

These results can be enhanced with other seismic delineation attributes such as spectral decomposition, curvature, and coherence cube for a complete picture of the shale reservoir framework. AspenTech SSE visualization and attribute blending methods generate a broad understanding of the dependencies of these attributes when analyzing shale formations.

As the final targets are firming up, a variety of reservoir characterization tools can be used to give greater insight into heterogeneities in a formation of interest and perform geomechanical characterization to understand local stress orientation. The AspenTech SSE solution for unconventional plays includes advanced shale gas analysis and geomechanics technologies that, together with geosteering and multi-mineral analysis, enable it to meet the unique challenges faced in shale plays.

Cut drilling costs – Well spacing:  How close is too close?  How many wells are too many?

Companies need to optimize well spacing, completion design and estimation of ultimate recovery by implementing reservoir models, with a focus on those solutions that can have the greatest practical impact on cost optimization.  For this, AspenTech SSE offers a wide range of modeling and geosteering solutions.



While microseismic monitoring is used to image hydraulic fractures, the location of microseismic events alone does not ascertain the type or nature of geomechanical deformation. Without understanding the interaction between induced and natural fractures, simulations of hydrocarbon flow through those conduits and production forecasts are incomplete at best, if not inaccurate. We combine a rigorous natural fracture modeling workflow with mapping of hydraulic fractures from microseismic data. New patented stimulated path generation and stimulated rock volume analysis allow users to simulate hydraulic fracture networks in HD. The result is more effective stimulation plans and drilling programs, as well as better control over the number and spacing of wells needed.



Fully integrated well planning tools enable the planning of a safe trajectory when combined with pore pressure information. Formation stress and fracture zone identification technologies contribute to safety and make it possible to target sweet zones in tight formations, such as shale gas. AspenTech SSE gives you an independent way to model, monitor and interactively modify a well as it is drilled in order to ensure optimal well position and maximum pay penetration.  Performed with the familiar Geolog™ user interface and carried out on the Epos™ platform, drilling engineers and geologists have access to a rich set of borehole, geologic model, and real-time data in support of dynamic geosteering operations.    



  • EarthStudy 360™: Patented full azimuth imaging and inversion technology for in-situ fracture/stress determinations in depth
  • SeisEarth™ and StratEarth™: Multi-user, multi-survey, integrated seismic and geologic interpretation system for assembling and analyzing all GG&E data
  • Rock Type Classification: Integrated into SeisEarth, uses machine learning technology to classify the reservoir
  • Geolog: Fully integrated petrophysical and formation evaluation system for fracture determination, rock fabric determination, TOC determination, and mineralogy
  • Quantitative Seismic Interpretation (QSI): Quantify the relevant parameters of the subsurface for each rock unit within the geometrical interpretation framework
  • SKUA-GOCAD™: Integrated chronostratigraphic modeling system with support for time-dependent data analysis and animation, fracture probability modeling, discrete fracture network modeling, property and facies modeling, and a unique stimulation path modeling solution
  • Sysdrill™: Accurate well planning and safe drilling, on schedule and on budget
  • Geolog Geosteer™: Optimal placement for even the most complex well path