Firms report Horn River shale gas completions

Alan Petzet
OGJ Chief Editor-Exploration

HOUSTON, Sept. 22 -- Two operators reported successful shale gas completions in Northeast British Columbia’s Horn River basin.

Nexen Inc., Calgary, boosted its shale gas production to 15-20 MMcfd from five wells and is applying more fracs per well, while Quicksilver Resources Inc., Fort Worth, said its first shale completion in the basin tested at more than 13 MMcfd.

Nexen said its 88,000 acres in the Dilly Creek area could support 500-700 wells and are estimated to contain 3 to 6 tcf of contingent recoverable resource. The company owns 100% working interest.

Most of the production comes from three recently completed wells at which Nexen said it took advantage of improved equipment utilization, drilled longer laterals, and ran an industry-leading 26 fracs in 15 days with 100% success. Nexen ran eight fracs each on two wells and 10 fracs on the third well.

Nexen is developing a winter drilling program that will continue to advance its understanding of the resource and enable more progress on costs and well productivity.

Quicksilver said its D-50A well has 10 frac stages in a 3,500-ft lateral and averaged 10 MMcfd in its first month on production.

The well is being produced into a permanent sales line that connects to the Spectra pipeline to Fort Nelson, BC. The company has committed to firm take-away capacity on the Spectra line for volumes ramping up to 100 MMcfd in the next several years.

Quicksilver said it plans to drill longer laterals and apply more frac stages and that mapping, core analysis, and production results show the company’s acreage is in a good part of the basin.

Initial drilling results confirmed more than 500 ft of net shale thickness in the Muskwa and Klua/Evie shale formations at 9,000 ft true vertical depth. The company has drilled a second well into the lower Klua/Evie shale with a 4,300-ft lateral and expects to begin completion in late 2009.

Quicksilver acquired 19 exploratory licenses covering 127,000 net contiguous acres in the basin in the 2007-2008 winter. It is required to drill only eight additional exploratory wells during the next 3 years to validate the licenses and convert them to 10-year development leases. About 80 development wells drilled in the succeeding 10-year lease term are expected to secure all of the company’s leasehold.

Contact Alan Petzet at alanp@ogjonline.com.

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