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SPE Distinguished Lecturer Presentation

Shale Sweet Spot Detection with Surface Seismic

Brian E. Toelle, Schlumberger


When: 10:30am-11:30am, April 27, 2015

Where: Schlumberger-Doll Research, One Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02139


One of the greatest revolutions in the history of the oil and gas industry has taken place over the past decade. This revolution is the rise of the shale reservoirs. First drilled in the 1820s these reservoirs did not attract serious attention due to their economics until the late 1990s when the Barnett Shale emerged as an industry “game changer”. Numerous other shales rapidly attracted the attention of the industry until today dozens of shales are currently being drilled throughout North America. This revolution is rapidly spreading to many locations throughout the world. Initially these shales were developed using statistical drilling methods in which a large number of horizontal boreholes are drilled throughout the play. Until recently gas prices supported the economics of this approach. But due to their success, an abundance of gas has caused a decrease in gas price and a new economic paradigm has emerged, shale sweet spot drilling. Production from numerous shale plays indicates the existence of these sweet spots. These result from certain geologic conditions, such as increased matrix porosity or TOC, increased micro-fractures and areas with increased brittleness. These reservoir characteristics affect the physical rock properties which, in turn, affect a passing seismic signal. Recent advances in seismic interpretation have demonstrated that these shale reservoir sweet spots can be detected prior to drilling. The ability to locate these sweet spots before drilling significantly impacts the economics associated with these plays. During this presentation a number of these seismic interpretation methodologies will be discussed.

 RSVP is required. SPE members need to login to SPE for RSVP. Please let us know if you are bringing any guest to the event (


Upcoming SPE Distinguished Lecturer Event

Shale Plays: How Technology, Governments, Regulators, Academia, and the Public Have Changed the World’s Energy Supply and Demand Equation                    

Joseph H. Frantz, Jr., Range Resources Corporation

When: 11:00am-12:00am, May 18, 2015

Where: Schermerhorn Building, Room 603, Columbia University, NY 


The global shale revolution is just beginning.  Production from US shale reservoirs has increased from 2.5 Bcf/d to over 25 Bcf/d since 2007, illustrating the viability of this prolific new source of long-term gas supply.  Other countries will undoubtedly use the knowledge developed in North America to jump-start their own shale plays.  Although technical advancements are largely responsible for unlocking the potential of shale gas, the industry’s coordination with a broad set of stakeholders arguably have equal, and perhaps more influence on implementation of new shale developments.  As such, they will increasingly impact our industry’s ability to more fully develop these resources.  This presentation focuses on key technological advancements that drive shale gas development, but also the important aspect of how our industry is working with governments, regulators, academia, and the public more collaboratively to best maximize the immense benefits from this opportunity, while fostering the use of best practices.

RSVP is required. SPE members need to login to SPE for RSVP. Please let us know if you are bringing any guest to the event (


Joseph H. Frantz, Jr. is the VP of Engineering Technology with Range Resources Corporation.  He started working on shale reservoirs in 1984 and has been involved with studies on many shale fields across the U.S.  Joseph has worked in every facet of upstream development.  He has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications and taught an industry school on Developing Shale Reservoirs.  He has served on numerous Technical Committees within SPE, Chaired the Pittsburgh PA SPE Section, and Co-Chaired a Regional SPE Meeting.  He earned a BSc in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1981.



Some of you may remember our joint YCEI and SPE  symposium on unconventionals last year at Yale University (Here). The symposium was concluded by a panel session moderated by John Deutsch in which Richard Liroff, John  Nolon and Hannah Wiseman discussed the best practices in development of unconventional resources.

Here is an hour long YouTube
video of this panel session containing the discussions on government regulations on shale gas exploration and production, best management practices, investments, and risks.

We will share the videos of the presentations once we get the permission from the speakers.



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Meet Jing Yang!


Jing Yang is an Associate Scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research (SDR) in Cambridge MA. She works in the reservoir geosciences department, developing novel methods to study unconventional resources such as oil shale and gas shale at nanoscale.

Jing earned her PhD in Applied Physics at Harvard in 2014 and Bachelor of Science from University of Science and Technology of China in 2008. She is actively involved with energy communities at Harvard while she completed the 2-year program of Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment, which provided her a broad exposure on energy issues. She enjoys back-packing, watching musicals, and skiing besides working.