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Resource Evaluation • Pilot and Full Stream Development Planning • Economic Assessment

Well Construction and Frac Planning• Portfolio Optimization and Management

Over the past 15 years significant supplies of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and oil have been discovered and produced from unconventional reservoirs; tight oil, tight gas, shale oil and shale gas (and for even longer when coal bed methane / coal seam gas are also considered).  During this time, the industry developed technology that provided the capability to drill longer laterals and complete more stages ever more quickly and cheaply.  So much so that there can be a perception that there is a relatively simple winning formula that can be taken and applied wherever the resource may occur.


The reality is far from the truth, and pursuing hydrocarbon exploitation in unconventional reservoirs continues to be risky and capital-intensive.   While there are a number of factors (beyond the rocks) that are essential to success, obtaining or navigating all of these is a key challenge, particularly outside of North America in general and the United States in particular.  These challenges are akin to a three-legged stool; all legs must contribute equally for it to stand up !


  • Technology and technological innovation

  • People, the knowledge/experience they bring, and the workflow and process that tie the different disciplines together

  • Surface challenges (regulatory, services, other non-technical).  While it may be possible to deliver technology and the best people and processes half way across the world, the vastly different regulatory and operating environments in these different countries is the key reason why the only large scale developments other than CBM/CSG have thus far been in North America


There are two fundamental approaches to unconventional resource development: rapid-cycle trial and error, and applied science.  The former is what has driven North American development, because of the large number of companies involved and the nature of the leasing system – for the most part both private and individually very small lease areas, requiring very high rates of drilling to hold undeveloped acreage.  Companies learned quickly from each other and with key skills and technology also lying within the service companies these could also be deployed rapidly across the industry.  While this means that there have been a lot of wells drilled and fractured in a less than optimum manner, overall the industry has progressed at a pace not seen (nor possible) elsewhere.


In the rest of the world, leases are typically larger (much larger), of longer duration, and open up the possibility of time to “science”.  On the flip side, the much more limited service sector and availability of key equipment and personnel, much tighter regulatory oversight (not originally designed for the needs of unconventional resource development) and (depending on location) political and environmental considerations has meant a much slower roll-out of investment.


However, being able to apply an integrated, multidiscipline approach that encompasses upfront reservoir characterization and well-planning, allows a field to be managed as a total system rather than a set of isolated parts and can more than pay for itself by mitigating risk, cutting capital and operating expenses, and increasing recovery rates.


Slow though progress may be, unconventional resource development is becoming a more significant part of the global energy exploration and development mix in countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico. 


Whether for domestic North American companies or investors looking to optimize their portfolio and cash flow, for foreign investments inbound to North America, or for resource development elsewhere in the world, Ulysses Petroleum Management has both the technical and hands-on operational experience to address clients needs.

Specific experience in Unconventional Resources includes

  • North America tight oil and gas

  • Drilling, Evaluation, Completion, and Production design and execution

    • Permian BasinFort Worth BasinSouth Texas, Gulf Coast, Anadarko Basin, DJ Basin, Williston Basin, Appalachian Basin

  • Prospect screening and evaluation

  • Develop and implement plan to assess resource value

  • Unconventional resource development Argentina

    • Technical and portfolio management guidance and quality assurance to asset / project managers during all phases of the E&P life cycle of a Vaca Muerta development

  • Joint Venture representation

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