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Unconventional Yearbook 2018

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56 | January 2018 | 2018 UNCONVENTIONAL YEARBOOK | DOWNSPACING Denver-based company exploits this model in the Permian Basin and in the Montney Formation of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Both plays have thousands of feet of stacked pay. Encana uses fi eld pilot tests, subsurface reservoir sampling via cores and electric logs, and reservoir modeling or simulation to help determine well spacing. Their fi rst cube development involved 14 Permian Basin wells on a single pad in Midland County, Texas. "These wells were drilled into three benches across the Wolfcamp A & B," said Joel Fox, Encana's senior manager of drilling and comple- tions. "The inter-well spacing was 385 ft. Next, we drilled a second Midland County pad with 12 wells. These wells were drilled into fi ve benches across the Wolfcamp A & B and Lower Spraberry. The inter-well spacing was 450 ft. Our third cube devel- opment was a 'reoccupation' of the fi rst pad, where we drilled an additional 19 wells in the opposite direction to the original. These wells were drilled into fi ve benches across the Wolfcamp A & B and Lower Spraberry, with an inter-well range from 385 ft to 450 ft. These 45 dense cube development wells are signifi cantly outperforming dense well develop- ment from the rest of the industry." Encana has found that the more wells on a pad, the potential for longer cycle times. "We address this by using multiple drilling rigs and frack spreads running simultaneously on the same pad to elimi- nate expansion of cycle time," Fox said. "Addition- ally, we've found that having the same rigs drilling similar wells on the same pad is a powerful driver of innovation. The same is true for frack spreads. By having the crews, supervisors and engineers col- laborate in real time, learning is accelerated and successive wells are drilled and completed faster at lower cost. With our cube development, we benefi t directly from economies of scale." Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp., active in both the Midcontinent and in the Dela- ware Basin, is combining downspacing with other operating effi ciencies, all aimed at a goal of better cashfl ow and EBITDA. Devon's Chief Operating Offi cer Tony Vaughn reported 50 new wells in third-quarter 2017 with production averaging 2,100 boe/d. During the company's third-quarter 2017 earnings call Nov. 1, Vaughn credited low-risk multizone recovery as the major driver. That includes 55% improved drill- ing time, more repetitive operations, zipper fracks and debundled completions. "We're saving $1 mil- lion per well and have improved cycle time to 5.8 months from spud to production," Vaughn said. Downspacing was part of the success of inte- grated teams securing supply chain improve- ments. "A recent example is locking in all our sand requirements through 2018 at below-market prices," Vaughn said. Devon is now sourcing sand from mines in the lower U.S., saving 30% on total delivery costs. "A key driver of our operational momentum is the advancement of multizone development activ- ity across our world-class Stack and Delaware Basin opportunities," said Dave Hager, Devon's president and CEO, in an Oct. 31 news release. "With several projects underway, this cutting-edge development technique will optimize per-section recoveries, while improving capital effi ciencies by 20%." Among Devon's downspacing pilots was the Alma test of the Upper Meramec in Kingfi sher County, Okla. The results "suggested that lateral spacing in the overpressured oil of 1,000 ft and ver- tical spacing of just a couple hundred feet was just fi ne," Guggenheim's Subash Chandra said. The Alma spacing pilot tested fi ve wells per sec- tion across a single interval in the Upper Meramec, delivering 30-day production rates averaging 1,400 boe/d per well and a 60-day average rate of 1,300 boe/d per well. Early fl owback results from the Alma pilot indicated minimal interference between wells, suggesting potential for tighter spacing in the overpressured oil window. The Alma wells were drilled with 5,000-ft. laterals. "The Alma spacing pilot and record-setting Pony Express oil well are examples of the excellent results we are achieving in the Meramec Formation, which has quickly evolved into the best emerging development play in North America," Vaughn said in a July 18, 2016, news release. In an earlier Meramec test, the Born Free wells were spaced 400 ft apart and landed in two intervals in the Upper Meramec. Devon followed the Alma with the Pump House spacing pilot, which tested a seven-well pat-

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