Development of Unconventional Gas and Gas Liquids Projects

This five-day program is devoted to the development of unconventional gas resources with a focus on tight gas and shale gas opportunities. Participants will learn the fundamentals and business aspects of each stage of the development process through lectures and participation in an interactive shale business simulation game. Participants will also gain an understanding of the technical, economic, commercial, financial, and regulatory considerations that must be integrated to successfully evaluate and develop an unconventional gas resource.

Additional information

Program Type

Key Benefits

  • Provides a thorough introduction and grounding in such topics as exploration and resource access agreements, subsurface resource assessment, drilling, completion and stimulation practices, pilot program design, field development, infrastructure and surface facilities, project economics, gas and NGL market options, and regulatory considerations.
  • Develops key financial skills, including project investment analysis, sources of capital, and measures of project performance.
  • Integrates the use of technical and financial tools through team decision-making in a simulated business environment.
  • Encourages participants, working in teams, to apply classroom knowledge to learn the practical aspects of the unconventional gas business.

Instructional Format

This intensive program has a lecture and workshop format. Lectures are taught by a group of experienced industry specialists and the workshop is facilitated by a simulation model specialist. Participants, working in teams, learn by making the real-life technical and commercial decisions that confront managers in the unconventional gas business every day.

Who Should Attend

This program is ideally suited for those seeking a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of unconventional gas resources and the steps necessary to manage a project from concept to field-wide development. Participants may come from many different backgrounds such as technology, management, regulatory, finance, and operations.

Program Location and Schedule

Daily sessions will start at 8:00 AM and run until 5:00 PM. Participants will receive further information on location and schedule upon registration.

Program Content

International Gas Industry Structure, Supply-Demand, and Pricing

Gas industry value chain and major players; distribution of reserves and markets; historical sources of supply and market development; demand drivers and projected demand growth over the next 25 years.

Unconventional Gas Overview

History, development process, and resources; technologies required for each source of unconventional gas; potential role of unconventional gas in world supply: where is it located? What will change? What is needed to cause the change? Impact of gas quality on project economics.

Unconventional Gas Project Management Process

Four Stage Process: from screening to full-scale development. Process application to the development of shale gas projects.

Obtaining the Rights to Develop Unconventional Gas Resources

The U.S. Oil and Gas Leasehold System: basic property law, forms of oil and gas leases and their major clauses: terms and unitization; leasing processes: title search, execution, recording, and release. Forms of agreements in other countries.

Unconventional Gas Project Economics

Typical investment and revenue profiles of an unconventional gas project; project cash flow analysis applied to unconventional gas projects. Comparison of project economics for tight gas and shale gas.

Subsurface Assessment

Petroleum geology and rock properties of tight sands and shale formations; importance of shale properties; use of geophysics in appraising unconventional formations; unconventional formation evaluation methods used in appraisal: well logs, coring, and others; estimating porosity, permeability, fluid saturation, and production potential. Measuring hydrocarbon thermal maturity. Geomechanics, subsurface stress fields, and well stimulation planning.

Estimation of Resources and Reserves in Unconventional Gas Plays

Reservoir engineering and estimation of production profiles, resources, and reserves of unconventional shale and tight gas sand projects; application of petroleum resource management system (PRMS) and SPEE Monograph 3.

Drilling, Completion, and Stimulation of Unconventional Gas Wells

Rig technology, pad design, well placement, building the curve, rotary steerable systems; MWD/ LWD; drilling fluids; casing design, cementing; lateral length; well sequencing and the search for efficiency; typical authorization for expenditures; multi-zone stimulation processes and design options; fracture design plan and processes; selection of proppants, fracture fluids, fracture extent, and containment; source and uses of frac water; management of flowback fluids; regulatory considerations.

Surface Facilities and Infrastructure Requirements

Design of surface facilities for unconventional gas wells from wellhead to gas pipeline: separators, compressors, dehydration, gas processing, metering, and control systems.

Pilot Program Design and Implementation

Leasehold analysis; identification of resource sweet spots for pilot program testing; design and drilling of pilot test wells; well stimulation and completion plans; surface facilities design; water management; planning microseismic surveys during fracturing; production profiles of completed wells; marketing of pilot program production; analyzing results and updating reserves.

Measuring Corporate Financial Performance

Review of financial statements; income statements, balance sheet, cash flow, and shareholders equity; capital and operating costs; measurements of financial performance; benchmarking.

Markets and Infrastructure

Natural gas, gas liquids, and light oil fundamentals and market prices; typical markets for each product: natural gas (ammonia, GTLs, power, and interstate sales); gas liquids and light oil (fuels and petrochemicals); transportation and marketing arrangements with midstream companies (pipelines, gas processing, NGLs, storage, and petrochemical companies).

Sources of Capital Financing

Options for obtaining equity and debt financing; promoted joint ventures; LLC arrangements; production and project financing.

Regulatory Considerations

Typical permits and regulatory certificates required at the local, state, and federal levels. Drilling and pipeline permits; environmental impact statements and their approval; water permits; other project needs.

Planning Full-Field Development

Subsurface well plan, drilling, and stimulation schedule; water supply and other drilling resources and service providers; surface facilities required for the full development; market arrangements for gas and gas liquids sales; project reserves and resource analysis; income and cash flow analysis: breakeven operations; financing gas projects; negotiating major legal agreements; HSE and other regulatory requirements and permits; manpower planning and development.

Case Studies of Companies Active in Unconventional Gas


Developing an Unconventional Shale Gas and Gas Liquids Project Business Game: Uncovia

Your team represents the unconventional exploration unit of an international oil company that is considering a new shale gas opportunity in a country with low levels of production from conventional reservoirs. The government has performed a regional assessment of a large basin, which suggests the presence of considerable shale gas reserves, and has offered your company the opportunity to bid on the project. Your team is given the responsibility to assess the viability of the opportunity, conduct exploration, pilot-scale testing, as well as market evaluations, and, if commercial, plan for the development of full-field production. This opportunity is important for the success of your company and could lead to an additional 2-3 TCF of reserves.

The sessions include:

  • Introduction to the unconventional gas development opportunity
  • Analyze the commercial terms of the exploration agreement
  • Analyze the projects potential economic performance
  • Complete the subsurface assessment of the opportunity
  • Develop the well completion and stimulation plan
  • Design and implement the pilot project
  • Analyze alternative development options
  • Obtain financing for development
  • Prepare and optimize the field-wide development plan
  • Review results, prepare and deliver team presentation