Newfield Exploration Co. has achieved record gross operated production of 323 million ft3/d of natural gas equivalent from the company's Woodford Shale play in the Arkoma Basin of southeastern Oklahoma. Production in early 2010 is expected to continue to benefit from the ongoing completion of approximately 20 wells drilled in late 2009.
Super extended lateral completions
The recent increase in production from the Woodford Shale is being driven by results from recent super extended lateral (SXL) completions. SXL wells are defined as those having completed lateral lengths greater than 5000 ft. Recent wells include:
The well had a lateral length of 9983 ft and was completed with 20 fracture stimulation stages. The well had initial production of 13.5 million ft3/d with approximately 25% of the frac load recovered.
The well had a lateral length of 9405 ft and was completed with 19 fracture stimulation stages. The well had an initial production of 13.5 million ft3/d with approximately 15% of the frac load recovered.
Newfield has five additional SXLs that have been drilled with completion operations pending. To date, the company has drilled more than 300 operated horizontal wells in the Woodford Shale and has significantly enhanced its economics through the drilling and completion of longer lateral wells. Last year the average lateral length completed was approximately 5000 ft, about twice the average in 2006-07.
Plans for 2010
This year the company estimates that its average lateral completion in the Woodford Shale will be 6000 - 7000 ft. The company expects that these SXLs can be drilled and completed for approximately US$ 7 - 8 million gross (costs vary depending on lateral length and drilling depth).
Based on drilling to date and 3D seismic data that covers the entirety of Newfield's Woodford Shale acreage, the company estimates that approximately 25% of its Woodford Shale acreage will ultimately be developed with SXL completions. The company has applied to unitise a large portion of its acreage to facilitate drilling more SXLs. Approval of the unit would increase this estimated percentage to approximately 33% of the acreage, or 55 000 net acres.
Newfield expects to run 6 - 8 operated rigs in the Woodford Shale in 2010 and increase Woodford Shale production by approximately 20% over 2009 levels.