Encyclopedia of Petroleum Geoscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Rasoul Sorkhabi

Production of Liquid Hydrocarbons from Shales

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02330-4_297-1


Shale and mudstone are sedimentary rocks composed of clay-sized particles. These clayey rocks are excellent candidates for petroleum source rocks because they are relatively rich in organic matter (kerogen) dispersed in the rock pore space. Kerogen is thermally cracked to oil and gas at depths under temperatures of 60–150 °C over geologic time scales (millions of years). Some of the generated oil and gas migrates to porous reservoirs enclosed by traps where they create conventional prospects. However, a considerable amount of hydrocarbon remains within the source rock, thus making shale and mudstone a source rock as well as a reservoir. Liquid hydrocarbons refer to light and heavy crude oils and condensates. Liquid condensate is obtained from wet gas and gas-condensate reservoirs. Appropriate drilling and stimulation technologies are essential to achieve economic rates of production from shales due to the ultralow permeabilities and very low porosities found in these rocks....

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ahmadi MA, Ebadi M, Shokrollahi A, Majidi SMJ (2013) Evolving artificial neural network and imperialist competitive algorithm for prediction oil flow rate of the reservoir. Appl Soft Comput 13:1085–1098CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anthony B, Nearing B (2011) New waterless fracking method avoids pollution problems, but drillers slow to embrace it. Inside Climate News, 6 NovGoogle Scholar
  3. Arps JJ (1945) Analysis of decline curves, SPE-945228-G. Trans AIME 160:228–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Biello D (2012) How can we cope with the dirty water from fracking? Scientific America, 25 MayGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen C, Balhoff B, Mohanty KK (2014) Effect of reservoir heterogeneity on improved shale oil recovery by CO2 Huff-n-Puff , SPE-164553-PA. SPE Reserv Eval Eng 17:404–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark AJ, Lake LW, Patzek TW (2011) Production forecasting with logistic growth models, SPE 144790-MS. Paper presented at the SPE annual technical conference and exhibition, Denver, 30 Oct–2 NovGoogle Scholar
  7. DiGiulio DC, Jackson RB (2016) Impact to underground sources of drinking water and domestic wells from production well stimulation and completion practices in the Pavillion, Wyoming, Field. Environ Sci Technol 50:4524–4536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Duong AN (2011) Rate-decline analysis for fracture-dominated shale reservoirs. SPE Reserv Eval Eng 14:377–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. EIA (2011) Review of emerging resources: U.S. shale gas and shale oil plays. https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/usshalegas/pdf/usshaleplays.pdf
  10. EIA (2015) World shale resource assessments. Updated 24 Sept 2015. https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/
  11. EIA (2017a) Oil: crude and petroleum products explained: where our oil comes from. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_where#tab2
  12. EIA (2017b) Tight oil expected to make up most of U.S. oil production increase through 2040. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=29932
  13. EIA/ARI (2013) EIA/ARI World shale gas and shale oil resource assessment June 2013. U.S. Energy Information Administration and Advanced Resources International Inc. https://www.eia.gov/conference/2013/pdf/presentations/kuuskraa.pdf
  14. Ely JW, Fraim M, Horn AD, Jakhete SD (2011) Game changing technology for treating and recycling frac water. Paper presented at the SPE annual technical conference and exhibition, Denver, 30 Oct–2 NovGoogle Scholar
  15. EPA (2011) Draft plan to study the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Office of Research and Development, EPA/600/D-11/001/February 2011/www.epa.gov/research
  16. EPA (2012) Study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources : progress report, EPA/601/R-12/011. Office of Research and Development, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. Gardiner L (2017) IE questions: where does fracking water go? Inside Energy, 16 June. http://insideenergy.org/2017/06/16/ie-questions-where-does-fracking-water-go/
  18. Helms L (2017) Director’s Cut, NDIC Department of Mineral Resources, p 10, May. https://www.dmr.nd.gov/oilgas/directorscut/directorscut-2017-05-12.pdf
  19. Hoffman BT (2012) Comparison of various gases for enhanced recovery from shale oil reservoirs, SPE-154329-MS. Paper presented at the SPE improved oil recovery symposium, Tulsa, 14–18 AprilGoogle Scholar
  20. Holubnyak YE, Watney WL, Bidgoli T, Doveton J, Fazelalavi M, Hollenbach J, Newell KD, Birdie T (2016) Update on induced seismicity studies by the Kansas Geological Survey, Kansas Geological Society, USAGoogle Scholar
  21. Ilk D, Rushing JA, Perego AD, Blasingame TA (2008) Exponential vs. hyperbolic decline in tight gas sands: understanding the origin and implications for reserve estimates using arps’ decline curves, SPE-116731-MS. Paper presented at the SPE annual technical conference and exhibition, Denver, 21–24 SeptGoogle Scholar
  22. Janiczek N (2012) Waterless fracking: a clean substitute, university of pittsburgh, swanson school of engineering. University of Pittsburgh, Swanson School of Engineering, pp 1–3Google Scholar
  23. Jia H, McLennan J, Deo M (2013) The fate of injected water in shale formations, Chapter 40. In: Bunger AP, McLennan J, Jeffrey R (eds) Effective and sustainable hydraulic fracturing. INTECHOPEN Limited, London, pp 807–815Google Scholar
  24. Kohshour IO, Leshchyshyn T, Munro J, Yorro MC, Adejumo AT, Ahmed U, Barati R, Kugler I, Reynolds M, Cullen M, McAndrew J, Wedel D (2016) Examination of water management challenges and solutions in shale resource development – could waterless fracturing technologies work? Unconventional resources technology conference, San Antonio, 1–3 AugGoogle Scholar
  25. Lord P, Weston M, Fontenelle LK, Haggstrom J (2013) Recycling water: case studies in designing fracturing fluids using flowback, produced, and nontraditional water sources. Paper presented at the SPE Latin-American and Caribbean health, safety, environment and social responsibility conference, Lima, 26–27 JuneGoogle Scholar
  26. Muskat M (1945) The production histories of oil producing gas-drive reservoirs. J Appl Phys 16:147–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Orangi A, Nagarajan NR, Honarpour MM, Rosenzweig, JJ (2011) Unconventional shale oil and gas-condensate reservoir production, impact of rock, fluid, and hydraulic fractures. SPE hydraulic fracturing technology conference, The Woodlands, 24–26 JanGoogle Scholar
  28. Panja P, Deo M (2016) Factors that control condensate production from shales: surrogate reservoir models and uncertainty analysis, SPE-179720-PA. SPE Reserv Eval Eng 19(1):130–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Panja P, Conner T, Deo M (2015) Factors controlling production in hydraulically fractured low permeability oil reservoirs. Int J Oil Gas Coal Tech 13(1):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Panja P, Velasco R, Pathak M, Deo M (2017) Application of artificial intelligence to forecast hydrocarbon production from shales. Petroleum 4 (2018):75–89Google Scholar
  31. Pathak M, Deo M, Panja P, Levey RA (2015) The Effect of kerogen-hydrocarbons interaction on the pvt properties in liquid rich shale plays. Paper presented at the SPE/CSUR unconventional resources conference, Calgary, 20–22 OctGoogle Scholar
  32. Pathak M, Panja P, Levey R, Deo M (2017a) Effect of the presence of organic matter on bubble points of oils in shales. AICHE J 63(7):3083–3095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pathak M, Velasco R, Panja P, Deo M (2017b) Experimental verification of changing bubble points of oils in shales: effect of preferential absorption by kerogen and confinement of fluids. Paper presented at the SPE annual technical conference and exhibition, San Antonio, 9–11 OctGoogle Scholar
  34. Reza GGRS, Mohammad T, Mohsen S, Ghassem Z (2015) A novel PSO-LSSVM model for predicting liquid rate of two phase flow through wellhead chokes. J Nat Gas Sci Eng 24:228–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rubinstein JL, Mahani AB (2015) Myths and facts on wastewater injection, hydraulic fracturing, enhanced oil recovery, and induced seismicity. Seismol Res Lett 86:1060–1067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schneising O, Burrows JP, Dickerson RR, Buchwitz M, Reuters M, Bovensmann H (2014) Remote sensing of fugitive emissions from oil and gas production in North American tight geological formations. Earths Futur 2:548–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sorkhabi R (2017a) A brief history of books and busts, Part I. Oil prices and crises. Geo Expro 14(4):52–56Google Scholar
  38. Sorkhabi R (2017b) A brief history of books and busts, Part II. Riding the switchback. Geo Expro 14(5):56–60Google Scholar
  39. Tarner J (1944) How different size gas caps and pressure maintenance programs affect amount of recoverable oil. Oil Weekly 144:32–44Google Scholar
  40. Tedesco J, Hiller J (2014) Flares in Eagle Ford Shale wasting natural gas. San Antonio Express-News, August 2014. http://www.expressnews.com/business/eagleford/item/Up-in-Flames-Day-1-Flares-in-Eagle-Ford-Shale-32626.php
  41. Todd HB, Evans JG (2016) Improved oil recovery ior pilot projects in the bakken formation, SPE-180270-MS. Paper presented at the SPE low perm symposium, Denver, 5–6 MayGoogle Scholar
  42. Tracy GW (1955) Simplified form of the material balance equation, SPE-438-G. Trans AIME 204:243–255Google Scholar
  43. Velasco R, Panja P, Deo M (2016) New production performance and prediction tool for unconventional reservoirs. Paper presented at the unconventional resources technology conference, San Antonio, 1–3 AugGoogle Scholar
  44. Velasco R, Panja P, Pathak M, Deo M (2017a) Analysis of North-American tight oil production. AICHE J, 64(4):1479–1484.  https://doi.org/10.1002/aic.16034
  45. Velasco R, Pathak M, Panja P, Deo M (2017b) What happens to permeability at the nanoscale? a molecular dynamics simulation study. Paper presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG unconventional resources technology conference, Austin, 24–26 JulyGoogle Scholar
  46. Wan T, Sheng JJ (2013) Evaluation of the EOR potential in shale oil reservoirs by cyclic gas injection, SPWLA-2013-MM. Paper presented at the SPWLA 54th annual logging symposium, New OrleansGoogle Scholar
  47. Wiser N, Small M, Jackson R (2016) Does hydraulic fracturing allow gas to reach drinking water? Paper presented at AAAS 2016 annual meeting, Washington, DC, 11–15 FebGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Energy & Geoscience InstituteUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA