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Unconventional Yearbook 2018

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Page 62 of 107 | January 2018 | 61 DOWNSPACING | 2018 UNCONVENTIONAL YEARBOOK concentrating on Delaware Basin targets in late 2017 and through 2018, blending wine-rack configuration with long laterals. "WPX's CBR-22 pad in the Delaware Basin suc- cessfully tested nine wells at 15 wells-per-section in the Upper and Lower Wolfcamp A landing zones using wine-racked spacing," said Brad Musgrove, reservoir engineering manager for WPX's Permian Basin operations. "We believe it's the industry's most densely spaced test in the Delaware to date." The nine wells had 30-day production averaging 1,538 boe/d (51% oil) per well during controlled flowback and 180-day production averaging pro- duction of 167,500 boe per well (50% oil). WPX's CBR 6-7 five-well pad in the Delaware was completed late in the third quarter, including one well that didn't post first sales until after quarter close. This pad also focused on the Wolfcamp A Formation. Three of the five wells were 2-mile later- als, with two at peak rates of 3,210 boe/d (49% oil) and 3,024 (50% oil), respectively. Musgrove doesn't believe the ultimate down- spacing envelope has been approached yet. "The majority of my experience at WPX is with the Upper Wolfcamp within a fairly specific PVT envelope. Personally, I haven't seen the limits in ideal conditions. For a single bench in the Upper Wolfcamp, 660-ft spacing seems safe and has been done. Will 500-ft spacing work? Probably, but we'd have to evaluate possible interference." Musgrove said lateral spacing is affected by ver- tical spacing in adjacent benches and timing, if there's an offset parent well with significant cumu- lative production. "In terms of wine-racked spacing, we have wells on our 2018 schedule at both 330-foot spacing and 440-foot spacing," he said. "We've already demon- strated that 330-foot spacing is feasible through our CBR-22 pilot test, but we want to keep gather- ing information on different approaches to opti- mize our long-term economic returns." Geology can limit or assist in vertical spacing. "For the Delaware, it depends on the complexity of deposition and the vertical heterogeneity we see in the Upper and Lower Wolfcamp," Musgrove said. "We often encounter carbonate stringers and debris flows that can deter fracture height growth. In this situation, we may get away with as little as 100 ft of vertical spacing on a wine-racked pattern. Absent those stringers, or other significant frack barriers, we probably need 200-plus feet. This remains to be quantified more precisely." As in all hydrocarbon extraction, local variables have consequences. "In the Delaware Wolfcamp, we're dealing with a very wide window of pore pressure gradient," Mus- grove said. "It's not uncommon to have losses in some areas of depleted Delaware Mountain Group production that builds to overpressure in the Lower Bone Spring. WPX is currently drilling 1.5- and 2-mile laterals both in its Stateline area and in the deeper part of the Delaware Basin in eastern Loving County. This past year has set the pattern for 2018. During a Nov. 2, 2017, earnings call, then senior vice president and COO Clay M. Gaspar revealed WPX's go-forward strategy. (Gaspar has since been named president of the company.) "We plan to drill 20% more lateral feet in 2018 versus 2017, with roughly a flat rig count," he said. "As an aside, on our current and anticipated efficiency gains, I'm betting on the over. The 20% is based on more pad drilling and focused on longer laterals. In 2018, about 75% of the wells will be 1.5-mile or 2-mile lat- erals. The average lateral length will be about 8,000 ft, which is 30% more than the average in 2017 and more than double the lateral length from when we acquired RKI back in 2015." WPX will continue experimentation with well spacing, considering interference as a fact of life to monitor and control. "I think it's not really a risk," Gaspar said. "It's reality. You want a little bit of well-to-well com- munication, both vertically and horizontally. We were very aggressive in our section 22 spacing test, with 330-ft spacing between Wolfcamp A wells on a wine-rack staggered pattern. We're now layering in the X/Y wells. We've designed that with the idea that there will be some communication. Early on, we didn't see any. We're roughly six months in and we're starting to see some correlation between the two, not like we've seen in other basins where you shut one well in, you have an immediate bump in the other wells that tells you that you really

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