SPE Unconventional Gas Conference: Day 1

It was a full and busy day at SPE’s inaugural Unconventional Gas Conference, with conference committee member Tom Blasingame kicking off the day at 8:00a.m. sharp and the final technical session ending at 6:00pm. The crowd was estimated at 800-plus for the day, which was a bit taxing for the facility, but we managed.

I talked with several people for reactions to the conference. Many thought the technical sessions were generally good and useful. Others thought that some of the presentations were not so new and had too much overlap between papers within sessions.

Though the event was not billed as being solely about the Marcellus, some people were disappointed that there wasn’t an orientation to the play, especially since the conference was being held in Pittsburgh, a major hub of Marcellus development.

Clearly one of the crowd-pleasing presentations was by C.H. Sondergeid, University of Oklahoma, (SPE 131771) who walked through work the University is doing with Devon Energy to better understand shale permeability and porosity using a new, state-of-the-art DualBeam™ scanning electron microscopy (SEM) from FEI.

The presentation included a “movie” of the “slicing,” photography and three-dimensional reconstruction of the sequentially ion-milled surfaces of a shale sample measuring about 250 microns by 250 microns. The movie included computer imaging of the volumetric distribution of pores and organics and their connectivity, constructed from the photos. It was very cool!  

And the crowd responded enthusiastically “yes” when Sondergeid asked if we wanted to see it a second time.

Were you at the UGC? What did you think? Post a quick comment now.

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