Packers Plus last month announced that it successfully completed multiple wells in North Dakota’s Bakken formation using its advanced high-frack intensity systems. Themig believes that this technology—in combination with multilateral wells and zonal isolations—have the potential to significantly change the economics for Bakken producers.
The 50-stage wells are the first step in the process. Themig said the second step will be wells with 60 to 70 stages—uninterrupted with no intervention. The third level will go to 100-stage jobs with two- to three-mile laterals.
“One of the things you’re starting to see from our company and is economic high-stage count and economic high-frack intensity,” Themig said. “We don’t think it’s plug and perf. We believe the open hole has some distinct advantages in this play. We have the curves to prove it in almost every basin.”
Themig is so confident that he predicts there will eventually be a sustained level of drilling in the Williston Basin that’s less dependent on the oil price structure.
“We think there are other technologies people should be using and will be using in North Dakota,” he explained. “I have some studies in the Williston Basin with four or five years of data that show just by getting effective isolation, you can change the ultimate recoveries in a field by roughly 50 percent, and that alone changes the economics of the Bakken.”
Although the price of oil will continue to play a role in the level of oil and gas activity in the Willison Basin, technological innovation—which Themig said has driven the industry for the past 10 years—will have a significant impact. He said the company’s technology would provide immediate benefits in the core of the Bakken and benefit wells in the play’s second-tier areas at $40 to $45 a barrel.
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
EOG confirmed success of its internally developed EOR process in the Eagle Ford following more than three years of testing in four successful pilot projects with 15 producing wells. These four pilot projects, located across the field, demonstrated consistent reservoir responses from a group of mature producing wells. The pilots generated significant increases in crude oil production with relatively low capital cost. One additional EOR pilot project that encompasses 32 producing wells is planned for 2016.
EOG anticipates many benefits from the application of this new technology, including high incremental net present value and rates of return on investment, low finding and operating costs, reduced severance tax rates, lower production decline rates and increased reservoir recoveries. EOG's Eagle Ford shale acreage position possesses unique geologic properties ideally suited for the company's proprietary EOR techniques. These methods require very strong geologic containment that may not exist in most horizontal oil plays.
"Today's introduction of EOG's enhanced oil recovery potential for the Eagle Ford shale is another technical breakthrough to further enhance the value of EOG's Eagle Ford assets," Thomas said. "Our proprietary EOR capabilities and first-mover advantages uniquely position the company to create substantial incremental shareholder value through this long-life project."
South Texas Austin Chalk
EOG expanded its inventory of high rate of return crude oil plays with successful drilling results in the South Texas Austin Chalk, which sits on top of the South Texas Eagle Ford shale. The initial test well, the Leonard AC Unit 101H, came online with average 30-day initial production rates of 2,100 barrels of oil per day (Bopd) with 295 barrels per day (Bpd) of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and 1.9 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) of natural gas. A second Austin Chalk well, the Denali Unit 101H, was brought online in April 2016, with average 20-day initial production rates of 2,265 Bopd with 415 Bpd of NGLs and 2.7 MMcfd of natural gas. EOG intends to drill seven additional Austin Chalk wells in 2016 to further delineate the formation's potential.
"EOG continues to demonstrate its organic growth capabilities by discovering a new geologic concept in an existing play," Thomas said. "Although the industry has known about the Austin Chalk for many years, it took a new approach to turn it into a high rate of return play which competes with EOG's top-tier assets. We expect the Austin Chalk to make a meaningful contribution to our future success."