Cost efficient, high quality and timely solutions do exist to improve geologic knowledge. The required data is collected on virtually every well - it is mud-logging data, rocks, gases and drilling parameters. What is overlooked is ensuring the data is of high quality and is accurately and speedily interpreted.
Typically, unconventional plays are continuous petroleum systems that accumulate hydrocarbons in low permeability rocks that are only producible through natural or stimulated fractures. The trick is not in finding oil or gas, the trick is finding the zones that will produce it economically.
With the right data at the right time we can better target
Reducing cost no longer means reduced geologic uncertainty. Fracture clusters no longer need to be placed blindly, albeit geometrically along the wellbore. Capital efficient surface evaluation strategies - Out of Hole Solutions - can identify your 'sweetspots' and your 'sourspots' in every lateral drilled.
Gas is stored as free gas in pores or natural fractures. As bound gas, adsorbed on and in the kerogen and rock matrices. And dissolved in fluids. The real-time detection and measurement of gases is the main-stay of any mud-logging service. With modern analytical techniques, good quality gas data is the foundation of cost efficient formation evaluation. It is unfortunate that in the unconventional world, gas analysis has been largely ignored as a 'serious' evaluation data set.
When mostly everything of interest in unconventional formations is of nano-scale proportions, the traditional sample descriptions from a microscopic viewpoint are of limited use. The apparently homogeneous formations along the lateral need advanced techniques to show their true heterogeneity in elemental, mineralogical and kerogen content. Again, cuttings have largely been ignored as a source of realtime formation evaluation with bags full of important data gone to waste.