Coal Bed Methane and Shale Gas Evaluation & Development

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Upcoming Course

Code Start Date End Date Location Cost Instructor Register
PST0247-201501  26 Oct 2015  30 Oct 2015  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  USD 4295  Steve Hennings   Register

Past Course

Code Start Date End Date Location Cost Instructor Register
        Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D. 
PST0247  23 Sep 2013  27 Sep 2013  Bandung, Indonesia  SGD 5995  Steve Hennings 
PST0247-201401  21 Apr 2014  25 Apr 2014  Bali, Indonesia  SGD 5995  Steve Hennings 

This 5-day course is designed for technical professionals involved in evaluating or developing unconventional gas reservoirs. For many years the oil & gas industry knew unconventional reservoirs held a tremendous volume of natural gas but only recently has the industry developed the techniques to properly evaluate and develop this resource. The reason for this delay was that most gas development technology, and most course material taught in Universities, was developed over many decades for conventional reservoirs and these methods simply are not adequate for unconventional reservoirs.

Following the advances in technology and reservoir characterization for unconventional reservoirs, the development of this resource has taken center stage in North America and Australia. For example, the United States is now the largest producer and consumer of natural gas and since 2010 most of their gas is being produced from unconventional reservoirs. The industry is now aware most of the unconventional gas resource in the world is outside North America so, in just the past few years, a tremendous amount of attention has swung to the numerous untapped unconventional gas prospects in dozens of countries. Many in the industry now understand that unconventional reservoirs will continue to grow in importance and the success of companies and individuals will depend on how quickly they can learn and adapt to the unique terms and concepts involved in evaluating and developing unconventional reservoirs.

The first three days of the course will focus primarily on gas development from Coal (CBM, CSG, CSM) and the final two days will focus on developing Shale Gas. In addition, the evaluation methods for Shale Gas combine methods from Coal and Tight reservoir development and so attendees will also gain a good understanding of various different ongoing plays.

Class exercises will be completed each day and so attendees will need to bring a calculator to solve simple equations. Case studies and class examples will present the steps to determining; resource volumes, maximum allowable investments, recovery factors, specific well locations, and selecting completion methods. Data for the example problems will come from actual development projects, primarily those where the instructor has been involved, to help illustrate the quality and types of data commonly available for evaluation.


  • Introduction
  • Class Exercise – Pre-Course Exam
  • Terminology
  • Coal Formation and Maturation
  • Gas Generation
  • Coal Mine Methane
  • Coal Gas Development History
  • Coal Gas in Australia
  • Development Teams
  • Class Exercise – Symbols and Abbreviations
  • Coal Permeability
  • Gas Adsorption
  • Class Exercise – CBM Reservoir Terminology
  • Net Thickness
  • Coal Gas Volumes
  • Vertical Well Drilling
  • Drilling Issues
  • Wellheads and Lift
  • Class Exercise – Drilling and Completion Terms
  • Organic Variability
  • Class Exercise – Coal Rank Characteristics
  • Electric Logs for CBM
  • Fluid Flow in Coal
  • Class Exercise – Isotherm Characteristics
  • Pressure Gradient and Drawdown Concepts
  • Class Exercise – Pressure Continuity Calculations
  • Horizontal Drilling
  • Class Exercise – Horizontal Well Terms3
  • Relative Permeability
  • Permeability Testing
  • Pressure Transient Tests
  • Class Exercise – Coal Characteristics
  • Microbial Gas
  • Depth Impacts
  • Class Exercise – Australia Coal Gas Analysis
  • Lateral Perm Variability
  • Extended Isotherms
  • Coal Gas Development
  • Class Exercise – Horizontal Well Length Impact
  • Decline Curve Analysis
  • Type Curves
  • Class Exercise – Forecasting Terms
  • Gas Reserve Issues
  • Class Exercise – Development Terms
  • Production Case Studies
  • Botswana Studies
  • Class Exercise – Well Characteristic Terms
  • Select Global Activities
  • Coal Fracturing and Cavitation
  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Fracturing Equipment
  • Fracturing Concepts
  • Insitu Stress
  • Fracture Design
  • Gas Content Technology
  • Coal Saturation
  • Class Exercise – Calculating Saturation
  • Desorption time
  • Class Exercise – Exploration Terms
  • HSE Issues
  • Class Exercise – Adsorbed Gas-in-Place
  • Vertical Well Options
  • Class Exercise – CBM Review Test
  • Selecting a Well Type
  • Class Exercise – Development Strategy
  • Computer Simulation
  • Class Exercise – Quality Control of Indonesia Data
  • Future Opportunities




Day 4
  • Class Exercise – Shale Preview Test
  • Energy Overview
  • Traps, Seeps and Migration
  • Consumption Trends
  • Ten Milestones in Shale Development
  • 2015 Development and Forecasts
  • Technical Terms and Concepts
  • Shale Oil, Oil Shale and Oil Sands
  • Oil & Gas Reservoir Types
  • Organic Sources and Transformation
  • Porosity and Permeability Relationships
  • Permeability Sweet Spots
  • Lineaments, Flexure and Reverse Faults
  • Brittleness
  • Class Exercise – Unconventional Terminology Review
  • Unconventional vs. Conventional
  • Seismic and Attributes
  • TOC and Mineralogy
  • Phi-k Relationships
  • Class Exercise – Unconventional Terminology Review
  • Oil & Gas Processing Terms and Basics
  • Development Process
  • Well Construction
  • Locating the Completion Interval
  • Class Exercise – Terminology Review
  • Well Completion
  • Hydraulic Fracture Geometry Factors
  • Five Hydraulic Fracturing Objectives
  • Class Exercise – Fracturing Terminology Review
  • Treatment Stages
  • Seven Segments of Shale Evaluation
  • Critical Basic Electric Logs
  • Organic Maturity
  • Gas Sources
  • Isotopic Analysis
  • Class Exercise – Unconventional Terminology
  • Production Forecasting for Shale
  • Class Exercise – Unconventional Terminology
  • Hydraulic Fracturing Shale
  • Environmental Issues and Perspectives
  • Class Exercise – Unconventional Terminology
  • Fracture Orientation
  • Multi-Frac Technology
  • Stages and Clusters
  • Perforation Strategy
  • Completion Types and Results
  • Fracture Design
  • Calibration Tests
  • Textbook Approach
  • Field Trials
  • Class Exercise – Terminology Review*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Class Exercise – Shale Review Exam
  • Fracture Monitoring
  • Nolte Net Pressure Plot
  • Micro-seismic
  • DAS and DTS
  • Growing and Emerging Technologies
  • Explain key geologic and development differences between CBM, Shale and Conventional Reservoirs
  • Cover the unique tests and methods applied to evaluate CBM and Shale
  • Outline how commercial potential is identified and calculated
  • Review common features of successful plays and the reasons different plays have required different development approaches
  • Cover the unique terminology, technology and emerging trends
  • Present class examples on determining gas-in-place, estimating production profiles, calculating gas
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Petroleum Geologists
  • Production Engineers
  • Technical Support Staff
  • Business Development Specialists
  • Technology Managers

Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D.

Founder and President


President, Zick Technologies (Since 10/93).

Petroleum engineering consulting and software development, specializing in the area of reservoir fluid phase behavior modeling. References available on request. Key achievements:

-Developed numerous equation-of-state and black-oil fluid characterizations for various major oil companies and as a sub-contractor for Pera A/S.

-Recommended phase behavior experimentation and modeling guidelines for several major oil companies.

-Wrote PhazeComp, a new, state-of-the-art program from Zick Technologies for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Wrote Streamz, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for translating, manipulating, and managing vast quantities of fluid stream information.

-Designed and helped write Pipe-It, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for managing and manipulating petroleum resources, processes, and projects.

-Taught numerous industry courses on phase behavior, equations of state, reservoir fluid characterization, and miscible gas injection processes.

-Designed and helped implement a new set of equation-of-state routines for the in-house reservoir simulator of a major oil company.

-Advised the architects of a major commercial reservoir simulator on ways to significantly improve their equation-of-state routines.


Director of Research, Reservoir Simulation Research Corporation (6/91–10/93).

Responsible for the research and development of more efficient, accurate, and reliable techniques for modeling reservoir fluid phase behavior within MORE® (a fully-compositional, equation-of-state reservoir simulator). Also responsible for improving three-dimensional visualization of reservoir simulator output, and for occasional consulting work. Key achievements:

-Designed and implemented new equation-of-state solution algorithms for MORE®, improving both efficiency and robustness while using less memory.

-Developed a powerful and flexible interface between MORE® and TECPLOT™ (three-dimensional surface contouring software from AMTEC Engineering).


Senior Principal Research Engineer, ARCO Oil and Gas Company (9/83–5/91).

Developed expertise in reservoir fluid phase behavior, phase behavior modeling, compositional reservoir simulation, and relative permeability modeling.  Designed and analyzed PVT experiments. Created equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterizations. Developed ARCO’s phase behavior modeling software and relative permeability modeling software. Helped develop several of ARCO’s compositional and limited compositional reservoir simulators. Key achievements:

-Discovered the true, condensing/vaporizing mechanism of oil displace­ment by enriched hydrocarbon gases.

-Represented ARCO on the Prudhoe Bay co-owners’ Enhanced Oil Recovery Task Force for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Designed and analyzed most of the PVT and slim-tube experiments for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Created the equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterization adopted by the operating companies for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed the miscibility pressure correlations used by the facility operators for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed EOSPHASE, a then state-of-the-art program for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Developed SLIMTUBE, a special-purpose, equation-of-state simulator for slim-tube displacements.

-Developed new, compositionally-consistent, three-phase relative perme­ability models for ARCO’s compositional simulators and wrote data-fitting software for those models.

-Developed the phase behavior and relative permeability routines for a new, limited compositional reservoir simulator and assisted on other aspects of it.

-Continually added improvements to various in-house reservoir simulators.

-Regularly taught in-house courses on the phase behavior of miscible gas displacement processes.



A. A. Zick, “A Combined Condensing/Vaporizing Mechanism in the Displacement of Oil by Enriched Gases,” presented at the 61st Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, New Orleans, LA (October, 1986).

D. E. Tang and A. A. Zick, “A New Limited Compositional Reservoir Simulator,” presented at the 12th SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation, New Orleans, LA (March, 1993).