California: Aera eyes whether to drill shale lateral

Aera Energy LLC has drilled the Aera-Mortgage 881D-15 well in Kings County, Calif., in the San Joaquin basin to a final vertical depth of 15,362 ft and run electric logs.

Aera Energy has informed the farmor, Zodiac Exploration Inc., Calgary, which supports the decision, that the well be temporarily suspended and remain on tight-hole status.

Aera Energy will decide in due course on drilling the horizontal well section as required by the October 2012 farmout agreement. That agreement called for Aera Energy to fund and drill two vertical wells and two horizontal wells to evaluate either the Monterey or Kreyenhagen shale formation to earn a 50% interest in 19,600 acres of Zodiac-held lands in Kings County.

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