Newfield touts Maverick Eagle Ford, eyes Pearsall

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 13
-- Newfield Exploration Co. expressed encouragement at its initial assessment of its Eagle Ford shale in the Maverick basin of southwest Texas and said that with continued success it will sharply hike investment in this year’s second half.

Meanwhile, Newfield acquired operatorship and a further 50% working interest in the Pearsall shale from its coventurer and now owns an approximate 85% working interest in all depths across its position. It will attempt completion in the 2011 first quarter of two Pearsall wells it drilled in 2010.

Newfield drilled 11 horizontal Eagle Ford wells in the basin and plans to run at least two rigs in 2011.

Estimated ultimate recoveries for Eagle Ford wells drilled with more than 90 days of production range from 200,000 to 400,000 boe. The company believes the Eagle Ford is in the oil window under all of its 335,000 net acres in Maverick, Dimmit and Zavala counties.

Newfield estimates that oil in place in the Lower Eagle Ford ranges from 40 million to 60 million boe/sq mile.

Newfield has more than 30 days of production on six of the 11 Eagle Ford wells completed to date. Peak gross 24-hr production rates ranged from 400 to 900 boe/d and averaged 630 boe/d, and 30-day gross production averaged 400 boe/d. Two recent completions have less than 30 days’ production. The first went on line at 860 boe/d, and the second is cleaning up after frac.

Lee K. Boothby, Newfield chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said, “All of our initial Eagle Ford assessment wells found light oil and confirmed an active petroleum system and producible oil and gas across a vast area.”

The 11 Eagle Ford wells had 5,000-ft laterals and encountered 30-50° gravity light oil. Three of the 11 wells had ineffective stimulations and-or mechanical issues. All were productive, but results were not indicative of the full geologic or production potential, Newfield said.

Newfield’s 2011 objectives:

• To advance the understanding of development spacing and recovery factors through pilot programs.

• To improve initial production rates and EUR per well by optimizing fracture stimulations.

• To maintain lease positions and satisfy drilling commitments.

In late 2010, Newfield signed an agreement with a major service company to ensure that the necessary frac spreads and personnel are available to meet completion needs in the Eagle Ford in 2011 and 2012.

Newfield entered the Maverick basin in early 2010 through an acreage acquisition. The basin is prospective in multiple geologic horizons ranging at 3,000-12,000 ft. In addition to the Lower Eagle Ford and Pearsall shales, horizons include the Austin chalk, Upper Eagle Ford, Georgetown, Glen Rose, and Sligo.

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