Drilling approach altered in shale
Goodrich Petroleum Corp., of Houston, reported Monday that its Blades 33H-1 well in Tangipahoa Parish initially produced an average of 1,250 barrels of oil and 115,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Goodrich said the well was drilled and completed under budget. The well is Goodrich’s latest in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, an oil-rich formation that stretches from Texas across the middle of Louisiana into Mississippi.
According to Goodrich, 92 percent to 96 percent of the production in Tuscaloosa wells is oil, with the remainder natural gas.
“Probably the most important well to date based on several different criteria. So it’s good news,” said Kirk Barrell, an expert on the Tuscaloosa shale and managing partner of Amelia Resources.
Investors apparently agreed. Goodrich’s stock jumped $5.56 per share Monday, an increase of 30.2 percent, to close at $23.96. Some 12.4 million shares changed hands, close to six times the normal trading volume.
Barrell’s criteria include:
- The well was drilled under budget and more quickly than previous wells. Barrell expects more improvement and cost reductions as Goodrich further refines its approach.
- Initial rate of production from the Blades well had the third-highest initial rate overall, but the well’s horizontal section is only 5,100 feet long.
Production per 1,000 feet of lateral is second only to the Anderson 17H-2, whose initial production was the equivalent of 1,540 barrels of oil per day.
- The well location is about 48 miles southeast from one of the highest-producing wells in the Tuscaloosa, the Crosby 12H-1 well in Wilkinson County, Miss. During the first 30 days of production, the Crosby well averaged the equivalent of 1,337 barrels of oil per day.
The Blades’ well lies in the eastern section of the formation. “If you’re that far east seeing those results, that really makes you encouraged for other core areas of the play,” Barrell said.
- Figuring out the correct angle to get to the horizontal section of the well and landing that section lower in the oil-bearing rock, which is firmer and yields better results.
Stock analysts have said Goodrich and other companies often encountered problems with the hole collapsing in the section where the well shifts from vertical to horizontal.
Goodrich Director of Investor Relatons Daniel Jenkins said the company slightly modified its well completion approach with Blades, shortening the distance between hydraulic fracturing stages and increasing the amount of proppant.
Fracking, or hydraulic fraction, involves forcing millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals underground to fracture the oil- or gas-bearing rock. The sand, or proppant, keep those cracks from closing. The technique allows more oil and gas to be produced.
The Blades well had 20 frac stages, roughly 250 feet apart instead of 270, and Goodrich used approximately 550,000 pounds of proppant per stage, instead of 450,0000 pounds.
Jenkins said Goodrich plans to use this well-completion design going forward.
Goodrich is one of the largest players in the formation, with more than 300,000 acres under lease and plans to spend $300 million drilling wells there in 2014. Goodrich acquired the vast majority of that acreage, including the lease containing the Blades well, from Devon Energy in August.
The Blades results show Devon’s well-completion approach was flawed and confirms Goodrich’s acquisition was both “brilliant and strategic,” Barrell said.
Meanwhile, Goodrich said it drilled its C.H. Lewis 30-19H-1 well in Amite County, Miss., in 36 days.
Barrell said this represents a huge advance because it costs about $100,000 a day for a drilling rig. Cutting eight days off the drilling time represents about $800,000 in savings.
The C.H. Lewis’ horizontal section of the well is about 6,600 feet long, according to Goodrich. The company plans to begin fracking the well by the end of April. Goodrich also is drilling the Nunnery 12-1H-1 in Amite County, the Beech Grove 94H-1 well in East Feliciana Parish and the SLC Inc. 81H-1 well in West Feliciana Parish.