URTeC: Wolfcamp play dwarfs Bakken, Eagle Ford

“The Spraberry Wolfcamp could possibly become the largest oil and gas discovery in the world,” said Pioneer Natural Resources Co. Chief Executive Officer Scott Sheffield while speaking Aug. 12 at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in Denver.

PNR is the largest acreage holder in the Spraberry field with 900,000 gross acres (730,000 net acres), the majority of which could be prospective for the horizontal Wolfcamp shale. Based on Pioneer’s extensive geologic database, petrophysical analysis, and successful drilling results to date, there is significant horizontal Wolfcamp shale resource potential in this acreage.

According to Sheffield, the company will test 13 zones over the next 3 years. With 50 billion boe in recoverable reserves to date, Wolfcamp is bigger than the Bakken in North Dakota and South Texas’s Eagle Ford shale. Sheffield noted that recoverable reserves are based solely on the Wolfcamp A, B, D, and the Jo Mill. “More reserves are yet to be discovered,” he said.

Geographically, Wolfcamp is comparable to other plays. A unique feature that puts it ahead of other plays is its variety of geological zones. The play contains 3,500-4,000 ft of shales, which is more like 3-4 million acres when considered in 3D space as opposed to 2D space.

“Compare that to the Eagle Ford shale formation, which is about 300 ft deep and the Spraberry Wolfcamp shale, with its 50 billion boe, begins to dwarf the Eagle Ford and the Bakken with 27 billion boe and 13 billion boe, respectively,” Sheffield said.

According to Sheffield, PNR’s success in Eagle Ford has provided a smooth transfer into Wolfcamp. “When compared by phases of development, we see the Wolfcamp trending higher than the Eagle Ford based on activity and production,” Sheffield said.

Based on recoverable reserves, the Wolfcamp is second only the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia. “We believe this field will reach 100 billion boe recoverable reserves at some point in time,” Sheffield said.

Contact Tayvis Dunnahoe at tayvisd@pennwell.com.

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