In the last decade, Poland has become one of the most active markets for unconventional hydrocarbon deposits exploration. At present, there are twenty concessions for the exploration and/or discovery of reserves, including shale gas. The area covered by exploration concessions constitutes ca. 7.5% of the country’s area. Four main stages can be distinguished In the shale gas development and exploitation project: the selection and preparation of the place of development of the wells, hydraulic drilling and fracturing, exploitation (production) and marketing, exploitation suppression and land reclamation. In the paper, the concept of cost analysis of an investment project related to the exploration and development of a shale gas field/area was presented. The first two stages related to the preparatory work, carried out on the selected site, as well as drilling and hydraulic fracturing were analyzed. For economic reasons, the only rational way to make shale gas reserves available is to use horizontal drilling, either singly or in groups. The number of drilling pads covering the concession area is a fundamental determinant of the development cost of the deposit. In the paper, the results of the cost analysis of various types of reaming method with an area of 25,000,000 m2 were presented. Cost estimates were prepared for two variants: group drilling for three types of drilling pads: with three, five and seven wells and for single wells. The results show that, as the number of horizontal wells increases, the total cost of the development of the deposit is reduced. For tree-wells pad, these costs are 7% lower than in the second variant, for five-well pads they are 11% lower, and for seven-well pads they are 11.5% smaller than in the second variant. Authors, using applied methodology, indicate the direction of further research that will enable the optimization of shale gas drilling operations.
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