Shell plans more Tucumcari exploration

A Shell Oil Co. affiliate plans to mount an exploratory drilling program for tight gas in eastern New Mexico's nonproducing Tucumcari basin.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 22 -- A Shell Oil Co. affiliate plans to mount an exploratory drilling program for tight gas in eastern New Mexico's nonproducing Tucumcari basin.

SWEPI LP, an affiliate of Shell Exploration & Production Co., Denver, in mid-May staked three locations in northeastern Guadalupe County to be drilled back-to-back starting in early June 2008.

The locations are Webb 3-23, in 23-11n-23e; Latigo Ranch 2-34, in 34-11n-23e; and Latigo 3-5, in 5-10n-23e. All are permitted to 13,150-13,500 ft or Mississippian and are thought to be aimed at low-permeability Pennsylvanian objectives. The area's Pennsylvanian rocks are in the Atoka, Strawn, and Canyon formations.

Shell has been conducting tests since late 2007 but has released no results from the Webb CD-1 well, in 25-11n-23e, in the Cuervo subbasin (see map, OGJ, Sept. 17, 2001, p. 36). It was drilled to TD 10,910 ft earlier as part of a multiwell exploration program by Cuervo Exploration LLC, an affiliate of Gunn Oil Co., a private Wichita Falls, Tex., independent. Shell in January 2008 won state approval for an extended flow-test period at the well.

Shell's locations are 6-8 miles north of Latigo Ranch, a gas accumulation discovered in 1982 and never produced. Latigo Ranch tested gas from Strawn sandstones at 6,658-6,764 ft.

Shell asked the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division to keep confidential all information relating to the proposed wells for 1 year after drilling and completion, but state regulations provide for such treatment only for well completion or recompletion reports and logs.

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