Fayetteville shale flow hits 155 MMcfd

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 1 -- Southwestern Energy Co., Houston, said its gross gas production from the eastern Arkoma basin Fayetteville shale play in Arkansas was 155 MMcfd as of Apr. 30.

The volume included 9 MMcfd in production from conventional formations in four pilot areas.

The company had drilled and completed 263 Fayetteville wells through Apr. 30, of which 208 were horizontal penetrations, in 33 pilot areas in eight Arkansas counties: White, Cleburne, Faulkner, Van Buren, Conway, Pope, Johnson, and Franklin.

Southwestern held 896,000 net acres in the play at Apr. 30, including 703,000 net undeveloped acres, 68,000 net developed acres held by Fayetteville shale production, and 125,000 net acres held by conventional production.

Southwestern is running 20 rigs in the play, 15 of them capable of drilling horizontally and 5 smaller rigs used to drill vertical sections. It added a third completion crew in the first quarter.

In the quarter, the company drilled and completed 68 Fayetteville wells ranging in true vertical depth from 1,900 to 5,500 ft with horizontal legs that averaged 2,100 ft. Completed well cost averaged $2.6 million and ranged from $2 million to $3.3 million.

First quarter production test rates ranged from 200 Mcfd to 3.4 MMcfd. The company is using several completion types, including conventional cemented liners and open-hole packer systems and combinations of slickwater, crosslinked gel, and hybrid frac fluid systems.

In the East Cutthroat pilot area in southern Cleburne County, the company has experienced lower than average well performance. Initial wells were completed with crosslinked gel fracs, and further testing with slickwater and longer laterals is planned.

East Cutthroat is in the area where the Moorefield shale and conventional reservoirs are believed to be prospective. Southwestern plans to drill up to seven test wells in the Moorefield Shale during 2007.

In northeastern White County, the company has completed average and above average wells at its Bull and Sharkey pilots using slickwater systems. The Reaper 1-12H well in the Bull pilot tested at 3.3 MMcf per day from a 1,950-ft lateral. The Wood Lumber 1-10H well at Sharkey had an IP of 3 MMcfd from a 2,800-ft lateral.

Totaling all of the company's wells that have been fracture-stimulated using slickwater and crosslinked gel fluids through Apr. 22, 2007, 164 wells had initial rates that averaged 1.4 MMcfd, and flow rates averaged 1.2 MMcfd for 138 wells at 30 days, 1.2 MMcfd for 112 wells at 60 days, and 1 MMcfd for 97 wells at 90 days.

Southwestern plans to acquire as much as 350 sq miles of 3D seismic data in 2007. The company's experience indicates that 3D seismic data has the potential to optimize well performance, minimize geologic risk, better guide lateral length drilling, and help find conventional targets. Southwestern shot 50 sq miles of 3D surveys in the Fayetteville in 2005-06.

In the quarter ended Mar. 31, the entire company's average realized gas price was $6.71/Mcf, down 15% from the first quarter of 2006.

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