An independent producer plans to develop more gas in Mississippian-Devonian Barnett shale in the Fort Worth basin.
The Texas Railroad Commission approved field rule amendments that will allow increased well density in the formation.
Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. said the rules permit it to drill wells in Newark East field on as little as 40 acre spacing. Mitchell expects that as many as 100 wells with a combined 80 bcf of estimated net gas reserves will be added to the proved undeveloped category.
The new locations bring total undeveloped well locations to about 200 for the field. Mitchell has identified another 100 probable locations that may be added in the future. The field is north of Fort Worth in Wise and Denton counties (see map, OGJ, May 25, 1998, p. 67).
"The tighter well spacing will allow us to recover a lot more gas reserves from the Barnett shale than we had originally expected," said George P. Mitchell, chairman and chief executive officer. "Results of a pilot program we started in mid-1996 have given us confidence that infill drilling is economically attractive (OGJ, Mar. 30, 1998, p. 81).
"Over the next few years we'll be testing areas to the west, south, and east of this core area to expand the economic limit of the field. This could add to a major expansion of our natural gas reserves in Wise and adjacent counties," Mitchell said.
The Barnett shale reservoir is about 300 ft thick at depths of 7,500-8,500 ft. Mitchell has tried horizontal wells in the area the past 2 years in several formations, including the Barnett shale.
Mitchell has been actively developing the Barnett shale since the early 1990s and has drilled more than 350 wells to date.
Other operators have completed remote Barnett shale discoveries in Dallas, Johnson, and Hood counties on fringes of the Fort Worth basin the past 3 years.
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