Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

Committee Chair

Kashy Aminian

Committee Member

Sam Ameri

Committee Member

H. Ilkin Bilgesu


Supply and demand are the main key factors for oil and gas industry. Moreover, natural gas was not important until early 18th century after the World War II. The first shale gas well was successfully drilled 27 ft deep in 1821. The well was drilled in the Devonian Dunkirk shale. Later in the 1980s producers began investigating into the more difficult tight gas sands in order to keep up with the growing market. A decade later in 1990s investors were looking at coalbed methane. Today, as demand is increasing globally, the oil and gas industry is moving toward shale.

Decline-curve analysis (DCA), is considered one of the most commonly used approaches to estimate the decline production rate and forecast future production rate for oil and gas wells. Accurate production forecast is very crucial for reserve estimation and development planning. However, shale production analysis utilizing traditional decline curve methods will not have an accurate production profile due to the nature of the reservoir properties and production behavior.

In this report, a comparison of new empirical equations has been studied specifically for shale production decline analysis. The recently developed methods are the Power Law Exponential Decline (PLE), Stretched Exponential Decline Model (SEPD) and Duong Model. The new decline curve approaches can predict future production rates for shale gas wells under transient flow. Duong model is considered simple and practical to use for predicting future forecast. Therefore, decline analysis was performed with Duong’s method using actual production data for five (5) Marcellus Shale wells and the results were compared accordingly.