Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

Committee Chair

Ebrahim Fathi

Committee Member

Samuel Ameri

Committee Member

Ming Gu


MSEEL1 and MSEEL2 are wellpads that were developed as a means of conducting research into how a gas well being developed in the Marcellus shale can be optimized from the reservoir identification stage to the completions and operational stage. This thesis provides a report of the workflow performed to use the generated data from different sources and analyze them for optimization.

MIP-3H and Boggess 17H were designated as science wells, for which the majority of the well logging and coring experiments were conducted on. The data obtained from the experiments were used as a basis for petrophysical analysis, the results of which were the detection of the Marcellus shale as a gas bearing formation due to high radioactivity and high resistivity values while also showing permeability. Geomechanical logs were also provided to confirm the results of the petrophysical analysis.

The next analysis to be performed was a well performance analysis, which used the reservoir data obtained from the petrophysical analysis combined with the water and gas production data from the wells involved. It was found through rate transient analysis that MSEEL1 has reached boundary-dominated flow, allowing for easier analysis of determining the estimated ultimate recovery at the expense of not being able to perform decline curve analysis due to the operational constraints of the well. Performing the same analysis on MSEEL2 revealed that the semi-bounded wells have much higher flow capacities and estimated fracture half lengths than the fully bounded wells, which is partly due to poor optimization of inter-well spacing.

Fracture modelling was performed using a combination of the reservoir and tubular properties gained from the petrophysical analysis and the post job reports which contain data on the amount water and sand placed into the formation. The results of this analysis were the propped fracture half lengths of each well, ranging from 150 ft to 280 ft. Each of the fracture half-lengths looked to have a positive correlation with the sand and water placed into the formation.

Developing a shale gas reservoir required knowledge from previous analyses, which ranged from the reservoir properties required for setting up the grid, the components of the reservoir, the shape of the wellbore within the formation, to the hydraulic fracture properties. A difficulty arose in trying to match the early-time production for all wells, which was mitigated by introducing the value of initial water saturation in the natural and hydraulic fractures. After developing the base models, they were history-matched to obtain a precise set of parameters that most affect the production, after which they were used to forecast production 50 years into the future. The forecast had a positive relationship with the flow capacities obtained from the well performance analysis.

The following recommendations were made to improve both the analyses performed and the best practices for developing a future wellpad: utilizing a discrete fracture network, reliable data for relative permeability, a study on the natural fractures, quantifying flowback, using distributed acoustic sensing data as a way of determining completion efficiency, optimized well spacing, and engineered frac design.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending