Tuscaloosa Marine Shale oil well sets record

Goodrich Petroleum Corp.’s Encana Anderson 17-H2 well has set a record in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, averaging the equivalent of 1,540 barrels of oil in a 24-hour period.

Kirk Barrell, author of the Tuscaloosa Trend blog and head of Amelia Resources LLC, said the result is significant, especially considering the Mississippi well’s 5,200-foot lateral, or horizontal section.

Goodrich apparently feels the same way. The company led its second-quarter earnings report, released Monday, with the results of wells in the Tuscaloosa, and the Anderson 17-H2 led those results.

According to Barrell, the Anderson 17-H2 in Amite County, Miss., near Crosby, is the latest well to meet four criteria for success. Those include a lateral longer than 5,000 feet; landing the well in the bottom 70 feet of the formation; using 400,000 to 600,000 pounds of proppant — the sand and chemicals that keep cracks in the formation open and allow oil to escape; and an oil-bearing section more than 75 feet thick.

Those wells’ initial production ranged from the equivalent of 928 to 1,540 barrels of oil, according to Barrell.

Goodrich Chief Executive Officer Walter “Gil” Goodrich said during Wednesday’s conference call with stock analysts and investors that the company doesn’t have all the answers for developing the Tuscaloosa shale, but is encouraged by results such as the Encana-operated well’s record initial production.

Goodrich agreed recently to pay $26.7 million for Devon Energy Corp.’s two-thirds interest in 277,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa. The bulk of that acreage is in Louisiana.

“We view it as a near ideal acquisition, with very limited, well-defined downside risks and tremendous, almost unlimited upside potential for our shareholders,” Goodrich said.

Goodrich said the company plans to take another step forward in the fourth quarter, moving $15 million of its drilling budget from the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas to the Tuscaloosa.