Venoco delineates Sevier Monterey shale oil field

By OGJ editors

Venoco Inc., Denver, said it has established a net resource potential of 76 million bbl of oil equivalent in the Miocene Monterey formation at its Sevier field in the San Joaquin basin in California.

The company established commercial production at its first delineation well in the field, in 31s-22e, southwestern Kern County. The well, which averaged 43 boe/d in its last 30 days on production, is shut in while the company drills another delineation well from the same pad.

The company’s first well at Sevier, initially drilled and completed in early 2010, tested oil from various zones for a cumulative 170 boe/d. The company calculated that the initial production potential of the well, if fully pumped, would have been 300 boe/d.

The second delineation well, completed in the lowest zone in the wellbore, had a peak 24-hr production rate of 221 boe/d, a stabilized 7-day rate of 190 boe/d, and has averaged 165 boe/d over a 26-day period. Logs on the third delineation well are encouraging, Venoco said. The zone had a limited log response but has produced at commercial rates.

The company spent $19 million or 35% of its third quarter capital outlay on projects targeting the onshore Monterey shale. Venoco spudded two wells during the quarter and set casing at two others spudded earlier in 2011.

The company spudded nine wells and set casing on 10, including wells spudded in 2010, in the first 9 months of 2011. Venoco has more zones yet to test in its first two delineation wells, and it also plans to reevaluate other existing wellbores for recompletion potential based on recent results at Sevier. The company spudded its fourth delineation well in Sevier early in the fourth quarter and expects to spud a fifth delineation well by the end of 2011.

The company’s Monterey shale acreage position totals 312,000 gross and 214,000 net acres in the Santa Maria, Salinas Valley, and San Joaquin basins. That includes 60,000 gross and 46,000 net acres with Monterey shale production or potential that are held by production in the company’s legacy assets.

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