Natural gas production from tight and shale gas reservoirs is becoming increasingly important in China as the country shifts from coal-based energy to cleaner energy sources. Recent Chinese sources have estimated that the gas-in-place resources from tight and shale gas reservoirs in China are at least 12 and 31 Tcm, respectively1. In 2008, annual production from tight gas reached 20 Bcm, about 23% of natural gas production in China1. Commercial production from shale gas reservoirs is yet to begin, but is expected to grow rapidly in the future. This paper gives an overview of the production technology challenges of tight and shale gas production in China. Based on a review of the published literature and their own observations, the authors have identified a number of key production technologies that are relevant and can potentially make significant impact on tight and shale gas production in China. They include, among others, management of H2S risks, sourcing and disposal of water for hydraulic fracturing, pad drilling and completion, incorporation of geomechanics in well design and reservoir modeling, non-formation damaging fracturing fluids, and improved multi-stage fracturing techniques. This paper should be of particular interest to subsurface engineers, scientists and managers who are involved in tight and shale gas production in China. It will also be of interest to researchers in universities and research institutes who are interested to develop these technologies to unlock unconventional gas resources in China.


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