NEOS GeoSolutions, Inc. has begun the first phase of acquisition for an integrated geological, geophysical, and geochemical study of the Marcellus unconventional shale gas play. The initial phase of this multi-client project in north-central Pennsylvania has several objectives, including identifying near-surface geo-hazards, developing an environmental baseline of current surface conditions, and determining the mix of technologies that would prove most beneficial in delivering a regional geologic framework for areas of the Marcellus targeted for natural gas development.
Dr. Craig Beasley, VP of Exploration for NEOS, commented: "The Marcellus is one of the most active unconventional shale plays in North America. The largest E&P operators plan to drill hundreds of wells and spend billions of dollars every year for the foreseeable future. To optimize their investments and ensure that development proceeds with the utmost consideration of the environment, these operators want to fully understand the sub-surface and surface conditions they are dealing with. We believe that NEOS can provide unique insights into the depositional and development histories of the region that will help to guide and optimize future investment and operating decisions."
During this phase of the project, NEOS will be acquiring high-resolution geophysical data using airborne sensors over a 90 square-kilometer test patch in Tioga County. These measurements will be combined with additional geological, geochemical, geophysical, and well data available in the public domain, from third-parties, and from NEOS's clients, and will then be simultaneously interpreted to render a more accurate, cross-correlated, 3-D depiction of the sub-surface Earth.
Dr. Beasley continued, "Operators in the Marcellus must deal with numerous obstacles that pre-date the recent boom in activity. For instance, parts of the area contain shallow sands that have become charged with natural gas over the course of geologic time. These shallow sands aren't targets for development and production, but instead are zones that E&P operators want to avoid. However, these gas 'stringers' are difficult to identify with conventional imaging methods like seismic. NEOS believes that our technology toolkit can help provide operators with a way to spot these shallow gas stringers so that they can be avoided during drilling operations that are targeting the deeper Marcellus shale reservoir."
Jim Hollis, president and CEO of NEOS said: "We view this phase of the project as the launching point for something bigger throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. We want to optimize the portfolio of sensors we deploy and tune our methodology to the unique imaging objectives associated with the Marcellus and Utica shale plays before we expand the program to a larger area. Given the insights I believe we can deliver and the amount of natural gas development that is underway within the region, I am confident that our initial project will be well received by the E&P community. I look forward to delivering the anticipated insights to our sponsors and to expanding our footprint in this very active, unconventional shale play."
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