SoftRock Forum: Joe Macquaker, Friday, Feb5th 2010, MUN ER-4065.
Successful shale gas exploration requires a subtle appreciation of the sedimentological and petrophysical properties of mudstones that are the reservoir targets. For decades, these rocks have largely been neglected because they are fine-grained and, at first sight commonly appear laminated. Recent research, however, has demonstrated that mudstones, that are also economic shale gas reservoir plays, are typically enriched in organic carbon and susceptible to hydrofracturing.
As a result geologists seeking to determine a particular units shale gas potential have typically investigated:
a)Their composition (ideally they should contain higher than average silica and carbonate concentrations) - to determine how likely they are to successfully fracture during completion.