Goodrich Petroleum boosting drilling

Goodrich Petroleum is stepping up its drilling activity in the oil-rich Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. The company reported Tuesday it has begun drilling a new well in West Feliciana Parish, the SLC Inc. 81-H.

The company also announced plans to begin drilling two wells in Amite County, Miss., in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the company is fracking another Amite County well, the C.H.Lewis 30-19H-1. Goodrich said it drilled that well in 36 days – it costs around $100,000 a day for a drilling rig – and the well will have a horizontal section roughly 6,600 feet long with 26 frac stages planned.

Fracking involves forcing millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals underground to create cracks that allow the the oil or natural gas to flow from the formation. Wells are fracked in stages, a few hundred feet apart, to maximize production.

Goodrich also reported that it has completed its Beech Grove 94H No. 1 in East Feliciana and plans to frack that well and the Nunnery 12-1H No. 1 in Amite County this month.

Meanwhile, Goodrich said the recently completed Blades 33H-1 in Tangipahoa Parish clocked an initial production rate equivalent to 1,270 barrels of oil per day.

The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale stretches from Texas across the middle of Louisiana and into Mississippi. The formation has been estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of oil. Goodrich is one of the biggest players in the formation, with more than 300,000 acres under lease. The company has said it plans to spend $300 million drilling wells in the formation in 2014.