Written on the 6 November 2014

A BRISBANE company is working with Shell to launch a service that will revolutionise shale gas production in Australia. 

Welldog, in collaboration with Shell International Exploration & Production, has announced it is developing a shale gas technology that would be an Australian first. 

The service, ‘SweetSpotter’, has been in development for the past 18 months and aims to better locate natural gas and natural gas liquids in shale formations, based on studies suggesting that currently 30 to 50 per cent of shale fracking doesn’t result in production.

SweetSpotter will be the product of Welldog’s patented Raman technology, a downhole chemical sensing system, and Shell’s experience in shale gas evaluation.

“The service is directed at identifying the locations where natural gas and natural gas liquids occur in shale formations, allowing producers to focus development efforts, reduce drilling costs, optimize production, and reduce the number of hydraulic fracturing stages and associated water usage,” says Welldog chief operating officer James Walker (pictured with the Reservoir Raman System).

“By knowing precisely where the gas is in their reservoirs, shale companies will be able to conduct fracking more accurately and potentially reduce fracking activity and costs.

“In a time of rising development costs, downward commodity price pressures and slimming margins, technologies like this could significantly improve well economics and performance, as well as reduce the footprint of shale development.”

SweetSpotter is inserted into a well to produce a molecular fingerprint of exactly what is in the reservoir. It does so by measuring the frequency of light before and after it penetrates the gas or liquids present.

Shale gas is just one of many technical services that Welldog provides to the broader resource industry.

Welldog’s head office is in Brisbane but the company also has offices in Wyoming, USA and Roma, Queensland.






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