Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stone Energy Enters The TMS Play

Several sources indicate that Stone Energy has obtained leases in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Play in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.  The company has not made any announcements regarding the play.  The yellow outline on the map below is where the company is believed to be focusing their leasing efforts.  It's been reported that the company signed a lease on a large tract with Crosby Land & Resources.

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Play - Rumored lease buying area of Stone Energy (Yellow)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Austin Chalk - Yield

A regional evaluation of Austin Chalk production presents some interesting results.  The yield (bbl/mmcf) presents a striking contrast from the eastern to western areas of the trend.  On the western side (AC-West), the Austin Chalk in the eastern Texas counties has a yield ranging from 1-500 bbl/mmcf.  The farthest western Louisiana parishes have a similar range of 150-500 bbl/mmcf.  The AC-West produces high volumes of gas with oil.  In contrast, the AC-East is very "oily" with yields in the 560-3560 bbl/mmcf range.  Recent discoveries in both regions have yields that align with the ranges.  One might not necessarily be better than the other.  These complex, fractured, carbonate reservoirs might respond better to more or less gas.  Time will tell.

One other very interesting aspect of the "yield map" is that the point where this drastic change occurs in western Avoyelles Parish is aligned with the western edge of the "higher resistivity" TMS-East.  The significance of the TMS resistivity is yet to be confirmed.  The Austin Chalk yields and the TMS resistivity maps do seem to indicate that the east and the west are different hydrocarbon systems.  The significance of that will likely become apparent in the coming years after much more drilling in both plays.

Austin Chalk - Yield (bbl/mmcf)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Scout Report - December 13, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

It was tough week for the Austin Chalk drillers:

Swift Exxon Corp 10-1:
Antinum Indigo 16-1:

Production Decline Rates

With exciting initial potential rates being announced for both the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and Austin Chalk plays, it's important to understand the nature of production declines in these unconventional reservoirs.  The chart below depicts the percent monthly declines in five Austin Chalk wells.  The chart illustrates that Austin Chalk wells take about 8-10 months to stabilize at a consistent decline rate.  As more TMS and Austin Chalk wells produce, I will track these declines for comparison. 

Austin Chalk: Monthly Oil Production Decline Percent

Monday, December 12, 2011

Encana Files For A New Unit In Amite County, MS

Encana has filed for a new unit in Amite County, MS.  The unit is adjacent and west of the Anderson 17H-1 well.  The details from Docket #425-2011-D:

"Petition of EnCana Oil and Gas (USA), Inc., LLC, requesting the Board to integrate, with alternate risk charges, all interests in an exceptional sized 922.06-acre oil unit, situated in Sections 7 and 18, Township 1 North, Range 5 East, to horizontally drill the Anderson 18H-1 Well from an exception surface location due to topographical reasons 1,078' FEL and 3,324' FSL of Section 18, to a depth of 11,950' to test the Shale Formation and all other formations and pools that may be encountered at an exception bottomhole location 440' FEL and 330' FNL of Section 7, with an eighteen month unrestricted test period to establish a maximum efficient rate (MER). Additionally, Petitioner requests authority to drill up to four increased density wells on the unit. Alternatively, Petitioner requests the Board to integrate all interests in said unit without alternate risk charges."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Indigo Announces TMS Discovery

Indigo Minerals announced today in a press release a discovery in their Bentley Lumber 34H-1 well. 

Key highlights:
  • flowed at a rate of 543 barrels oil equivalent (80% oil) during a 24 hour test period
  • successfully drilled without the need for an intermediate casing string through the shale interval
  • 15-stage fracture stimulation of the target interval
  • hydrocarbon mix is light, sweet 45 API gravity oil along with high liquid yield natural gas (1520 Btu and 11 GPM natural gas liquids).
  • The oil is currently being trucked to sales and the gas is temporarily being flared with state approval.
  • Indigo II intends to secure a joint venture operating partner sometime in early 2012 to bring horizontal oil expertise and capital to this large, oil shale development project
Press Release:

Drilling Locations: TMS and Austin Chalk

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Scout Report - December 7, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

Rumors abound regarding the test results from the Encana Weyerhaeuser and the Indigo Bentley.  Awaiting official releases of initial potentials.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Devon's Beech Grove 68H-1 IP's at 120 BOPD

Devon has officially released an initial potential of 120 bopd for the Beech Grove 68H-1. 
COMPLETED 10/30/11 AS A OIL WELL IN THE TUSCALOOSA MARINE SHALE RES;PM F 120 BOPD; 100 MCFD; 950 CP FTP; 30/64 CK; 312 BWPD; 833 GOR; 42 GRVTY PERFS 14275-17013' (ST: 10)

The frac job consisted of 12 stages and was challenged by a bad dogleg in the wellbore.  Some stages were cut short and others experienced screenouts.  I consider this the first well in this current TMS era with many more lessons to be learned.  Rumors indicate that the well has cleaned up and is flowing at a higher rate. It will take twelve months of production from 10-20 wells before we understand the economics of this play.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scout Report - November 29, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

EOG Assembles TMS Acreage Position

EOG continues to build a TMS lease position in "stealth" mode.  Information gathered from DrillingInfo and the courthouses indicate that they've assembled approximately 120,000 acres across the play.  This has not been announced or confirmed by EOG.  Based on their position in the Eagle Ford, they appear to like the oil window.  Rumor has it that they might be seeking a partner in the TMS.  With ~80,000 acres in the higher resistivity, and ~40,000 acres in the lower resistivity, they appear to be "hedging" their bet on the rock properties of the shale.

EOG Eagle Ford leases (Source:

Monday, November 28, 2011

TMS Locations Total 15

Confirmed Tuscaloosa Marine Shale locations now total 15 in this current "TMS Era".  This includes permits and proposed/accepted unitization.  Devon appears to be very active on the east side preparing additional pad sites.  When will Goodrich and EOG join the party?

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Locations (Permitted and proposed/accepted unitization)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Encana Applies For A TMS Unit In W. Feliciana Parish

Encana has applied for a 1040 acre Tuscaloosa Marine Shale unit in West Feliciana Parish.  The proposed rectangular unit, TMS RA SUA, is located in Lake Rosemound Field and is oriented north-south.

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale locations

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Devon's TMS Cross

Devon permitted an additional TMS location:
-API: 1703720154    Serial#: 244122   East Feliciana Parish, LA
-Field: Richland Plantation
-MD: 19000   TVD: 13900   Lateral length: 5100'
-Location: Section 74-1s-2e; S 64 D 32' 04" W - 21,604.10' FROM NGS MONU. "TALBOT" IN SEC 74. PBHL: N 26 D 59' 55" E - 6,000.02' FROM SURF LOC IN SEC 71.

With six locations confirmed, Devon's initial plans are making sense.  Their "cross" well pattern tests the TMS in strike and dip directions.  After completing these wells, they will have rock properties, pressures, and hydrocarbon mix across their acreage position.
Devon Energy's TMS locations.

Anadarko Hits An Austin Chalk Homerun

Anadarko has successfully completed another Austin Chalk well.  The Lacour 43-1 had an initial potential of 3000 bopd, 2500 mcfgd, and 600 bwpd, 3800 FTP, 4900 SITP, 600 CP, on a 20/64 choke.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Encana Releases TMS Acreage Details

Encana presented this map at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Global Energy Conference this week.
Source:  Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Global Energy Conference
Entire presentation:

Devon Lane 64-1 Reclassified

Devon's Lane 64-1 vertical TMS completion has been reclassified as "Status 31: Inactive Dry Hole Future Utility".  This "science" well could likely be used for micro-seismic in the future.

Source: SONRIS

Justiss Oil Expands TMS Exploration To The West

Justiss Oil has just permitted a new horizontal TMS well in southern Sabine Parish.  This location expands TMS exploration efforts almost to the LA/TX state line and targets the TMS shallower than the Indigo wells.
-Serial: 244108   API:1708522393
-MD: 14000'   TVD: 9000'
-Location: 91' FNL & 2386' FWL OF SEC 23. PBHL: 330' FNL & 271' FEL OF NE/4 OF NW/4 OF SEC 14.
Justin Oil VUA;ZAP MINERALS ETAL #1 (#24 on map)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Devon Beech Grove 68H-1 - Status

A recent Devon letter regarding TMS unitization states that the Beech Grove well is "currently being flowed back for cleanup at a rate of 120 bopd and 312 bwpd".  This is consistent with information available on SONRIS.  With continued flowback, the oil rate should increase along with a decreasing water rate.

As with all shale plays, the economic viability of this play will not be known until a years worth of production has been observed from 10-20 wells.  Initial rates, pressures, yields, and first year decline rates will be key variables.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scout Report - November 8, 2011

The blog hit 100,000 page views today.  Lets hope that the upcoming tests in the Beech Grove and Weyerhaeuser wells take this play to the next level.

This week's Scout Report:

Recent TMS Locations From The Sky

Our airborne scout team took some recent photographs of the active locations.

Devon Lane 64-1

Encana Weyerhaeuser 73H-1
Devon Beechgrove 68H-1

Monday, November 7, 2011

Encana Rig Moves to Horseshoe Hill

Encana's rig has arrived at the Horseshoe Hill location in Wilkinson County, MS.

Photo courtesy of Joe Rollins

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Geaux Tigers!

While keeping aligned with the "Tuscaloosa" theme of this blog, I have to stray a bit on this one.  What a great victory.  Geaux Tigers!

Chesapeake's McClendon Comments on the TMS

Not sure how McClendon calls the TMS pricey at $200-250 per acre.
"Or just simply, I think the industry, including us, is running out of places where you could go put together big leasehold positions. And we're not chasing anything in California, and we're not chasing the -- for example, the Tuscaloosa Marine shale and some other things. That would be pretty pricey to get involved in."
Aubrey McClendon, CEO, Chesapeake Energy


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Devon Beechgrove - Wellbore Diagram

Source: SONRIS

Swift Discusses The Austin Chalk On Earnings Call

Swift Energy's Earnings Conference Call: Austin Chalk highlights:
"In Central Louisiana and East Texas, we’re utilizing new technology to transform a mature asset base to a growth area. Our large partnership area with Anadarko in the Burr Ferry area of Vernon Parish provides ample running room for a multi-year drilling program targeting the Austin Chalk. We’re also reevaluating the Austin Chalk and our Masters Creek field to further assess further development opportunities there. The non-operated well, the GASRS 16-1 was completed in the Austin Chalk and had an initial production rate of 207 barrels of oil per day and 1.3 million cubic feet of gas per day. This production rate is significantly lower than the first two wells drilled in the area. This well was an appraisal well and was drilled near the southern extend of the company’s joint operating area where it did encounter fewer natural fractures while drilling than what we see in the wells drilled further to the north. This well will be an extremely important well for us in further understanding the geology in the area and will assist us in designing the most effective development plan for this Burr Ferry area.  The Swift Energy operated GASRS 20-1concluded drilling operations during the third quarter and has been completed. A mechanical problem occurred during the initial cleanup of the well that required a work over rig to resolve. A work over rig is currently on this well and work is under way to remedy the issue. This well bore remained in zone for the entirety of the 4254 foot lateral and encountered high natural fracture density in the formation along the strong tubing pressure. GASRS 20-1 well was drilled further north than the non-operated GASRS 16-1, and we believe it will be a highly productive well once we have resolved the mechanical issue."

"Marcus Talbert – Canaccord Genuity
Okay, great, thanks. I guess looking at the most recent Austin Chalk wells, is there anything that you can point to I guess outside of the fewer natural fractures that you encountered on the 16-1 well that led to the result that we got?
Bob Banks
We have got a couple of working theories about what caused the lower fracturation in that well bore down to the south. One would be, we are getting much further away from the Sligo shelf margin where you have more tectonic activity. The other theory would be that it’s flattened out a little bit down there. The depths aren’t the same, it’s a little flatter area and there is less faulting in that area. So that could have also contributed to the less fracturation. So, those are the things the guys are working on now to try to understand down in that southern extend, what's controlling the fracturation down there.
Marcus Talbert – Canaccord Genuity
Okay, great, thanks. And I guess just looking at that southern extend on the map that you have here. Was the 16-1 offset to the 18-1 well or was that further south and east even further south of the (inaudible).
Bob Banks
Yeah, further south, further south. Yeah, it’s kind of right down at the end of the line down there.
Marcus Talbert – Canaccord Genuity
So it’s the very most southern well that you drilled to-date there in the Burr Ferry?
Bob Banks
Yeah, that’s right.
Marcus Talbert – Canaccord Genuity
Oh, yeah, that’s correct."

Source: Seeking Alpha

Encana BOE #1H - September Production

Austin Chalk - Initial Potential Comparison

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scout Report - November 2, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

Devon Seeks JV Partner For Five Projects Including the TMS

"Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) said Wednesday it is looking for a partner for five exploratory oil and gas projects in various states as it seeks to share costs and improve capital efficiency.  Speaking to analysts in a conference call, executives of Oklahoma-based Devon said the company was looking at the possibility of establishing a joint venture agreement in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in Louisiana, the Mississippi Lime in Oklahoma, the Niobrara Shale in Wyoming, and the Utica Shale and the Michigan Basin in Ohio.  Devon Executive Vice President Exploration and Production David Hager said a joint venture would allow the company to eliminate the large amount of money it has to invest acquiring acreage and redeploy that capital back into drilling or share repurchases.  'We have been conducting the data room. We've had outstanding interest from the companies who reviewed our acreage position,' Hager said.  The joint venture structure is still open, but it is likely it will follow the arrangement of other agreements, which stipulate a large amount of cash to be paid up front, the company said. Devon is not looking for several partners but rather one that could be interested in developing all of the areas.  Separately, Devon said it has continue to see higher oilfield service costs. The price for drilling rigs and other service have increased about 2% in the third-quarter compared to the previous quarter. Overall, the company expects a 10% to 12% increase of costs this year. 'We expect that we will see some pressure on costs primarily in the service sector as we go into 2012,' said Darryl Smette, Devon's executive vice president marketing and midstream.  The Permian Basin in Texas is the area where Devon has seen the biggest increase in service costs, while prices have continued to grow fairly rapidly also in Canada, Smette said."
Source: Dow Jones

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Encana Earnings Call - October 20, 2011

The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale highlights from the call:
"During the quarter, we captured additional acreage in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale bringing our total land position in this play to approximately 270,000 net acres. We completed an existing horizontal well in Amite County as part of our joint venture agreement and we are very encouraged by the results.  The well had a 30 day initial production rate of 310 barrels per day of light oil from 5 effective completion stages. This well has been on production for about 125 days and we forecast an expected ultimate recovery of 145,000 barrels of oil. We’re currently drilling the first of two planned horizontal wells targeting a 7500’ lateral length with 30 planned completion stages and expect to begin completion activities in November."
Question and Answer Session:
CALLER: In the TMS, the well that you mentioned earlier in your comments. What was the cost of that well and what do you expect a 30 stage 7500’ lateral well to cost?
ENCANA: the well I quoted is the well that…are you talking about the well that we’re currently drilling? 
CALLER: Yes, that was one of them and the past well that you mentioned earlier. 
ENCANA: The past well is a well we inherited in a joint venture partnership, so I don’t have the information on that. The well that we’re drilling today is not really going to be indicative of our long term development costs so it’s very difficult to peg that particular well but I think in the early the days, the wells will be, you know, in the $10 million range and as we’re able to apply scale, we’ll come down to a lower number.

Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association: Energy Sector Report

The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association just released Dr. Loren C. Scott's report on the energy sector and it's impact on Louisiana.  It contains some impressive statistics.
Executive Summary:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anadarko Permits Another Austin Chalk Well - Avoyelles Parish

Anadarko has permitted an Austin Chalk well four miles north of the Lower Cretaceous Shelf Edge.
-Anadarko Rabalais 35-1
-Avoyelles Parish, LA
-Measured depth: 21848   True vertical depth: 14848
-2032' FNL & 1669' FWL OF SEC 35. PBHL: 1278' FSL & 3118' FWL OF SEC 3, T02S-R06E

Anadarko Rabalais 35-1: #21 on map

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scout Report - October 25, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

Anadarko Completes the GASRS 16-1

Anadarko completed the AUS C RA SUK;GASRS 16-1 in the Austin Chalk reservoir.  The well is in southwestern Vernon Parish near the Texas state line and is 7 miles south of the Lower Cretaceous Shelf Edge.
-1127 MCFD; 203 BCD; FTP 1100; SITP 6900; CP 1600; 25/64" CHOKE; 259 BWPD; 0.1% BS&W; GOR 5551.7; GVTY 52.4; PERFS TOL: 14324' MD EOL: 20886' MD

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scout Report - October 18, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

-Devon Beechgrove #1: frac job in progress
-Antinum Briggs Alt. #1 (Austin Chalk): 2184 BOPD; 6795 MCFD; 3276 BWPD on a 38/64 choke

Atinum's Briggs Alt. #1 IP's In The Austin Chalk

Atinum's Briggs Alt. #1 that proved very challenging to drill, has IP'd with some great rates: 2184 BOPD; 6795 MCFD; 3276 BWPD on a 38/64 choke.

Devon Presents The TMS at The Energy Summit

"Southern New Ventures Group, part of Devon Energy, has drilled its first horizontal well in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale that crosses Louisiana north of Baton Rouge. Exploration manager Harry Livingstone says the company hopes the well in East Feliciana Parish will be the first of many. 'We're going to give it a good try,' he says. Livingstone says the company has spent over $50 million leasing 250,000 acres for the oil shale play. While the existence of the shale formation has been well known for decades, advances in horizontal drilling technology used in natural gas plays such as the Haynesville Shale in north Louisiana have helped make the Tuscaloosa feasible. 'Horizontal drilling is the ideal and the only way to go forward,' he says, adding that the United States is ahead of the rest of the world in horizontal drilling technology. He says regulatory concerns exist, but says Louisiana is a good place to do business because it's an 'oil-friendly state.' While it's too early to say for sure how productive the Tuscaloosa will be, Livingstone says the economic impact might be comparable to Haynesville and the Eagle Ford play in south Texas. Livingstone spoke today at Energy Summit 2011, hosted by the LSU Center for Energy Studies."
Source: Business Report

P2 Provides Leasing Statistics

P2's blog, "Tobin Talk", released some information regarding leasing across the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and Austin Chalk plays.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hilcorp Moves Forward With Tuscaloosa Development Plan

Based on recent filings, it's obvious that Hilcorp isn't wasting any time expoiting their new deep Tuscaloosa assets recently acquired from BP.  The economics appear challenged with sub-$4/mcf gas.
Recompletion Permits (Source: DrillingInfo)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Current TMS Economic Advantage

There's been a lot of press lately touting the benefits of the Louisiana Sweet premium.  A $25 per barrel "bump" provides a significant economic advantage to plays like the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.  From what I understand, this gap could continue for 1-2 years.

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- "U.S. Gulf crude premiums strengthened after the discount for West Texas Intermediate versus Brent widened.  The gap between WTI and Brent November contracts increased 25 cents to $23.81 a barrel in New York. The spread settled Sept. 6 at a record margin of $26.87.
When Brent increases versus WTI, it strengthens the value of low-sulfur U.S. grades that compete with West African oil priced against the European benchmark.  The discount of WTI for November delivery to the December contract widened 9 cents to 22 cents after Enbridge Inc. shut its Ozark pipeline that transports oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Wood River, Illinois.  Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to WTI widened 85 cents to $26.75 a barrel at 2:02 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium added 75 cents to $25.75."
Source: Bloomberg

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Devon Rig Heading East

It appears that the Devon rig is heading east to the Soterra 6H-1 location.  It will be good to have an eastern datapoint in this new wave of drilling.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Strategies

Early in the TMS play, some diverse strategies can already be determined:

---Devon: Updip, Middip; mostly in LA
---Encana: Updip, some Middip; LA and MS
---Indigo Minerals: aggregate large block around existing minerals in LA
---Goodrich: scattered "islands" across LA and MS
---EOG: stealth mode; mostly Updip, some Middip
---Devon: laterals oriented parallel to dip; lengths: 4840'-6540'
---Encana: laterals oriented oblique to dip (~15 degrees); lengths: 6738'-6941'
---Indigo Minerals: laterals oriented oblique to dip (~5 degrees); length: 4250'
---Goodrich: "2nd mouse gets the cheese"?
---EOG: "2nd mouse gets the cheese"?
---Devon: drill vertical "science" well 1st and obtain conventional core
---Encana: re-enter existing horizontal wellbore and complete; obtain conventional core in the first new horizontal drill
---Indigo Minerals: drill vertical "science" well 1st and obtain conventional core
Unit Size:
---Devon: 720-880 acres (square, rectangular)
---Encana: 1030-1074 acres (rectangular)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scout Report - September 20, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

Hydraulic Fracturing Risks - Tuscaloosa Sands

Another hydraulic fracturing risk factor in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale is the wet, porous, and permeable Tuscaloosa sands that occur below the the shale.  These sands have the ability to produce significant volumes of water if they are frac'd into. 

The youngest Tuscaloosa sand, "A-1", progrades out across Wilkinson County, MS and presents higher frac risk in this area due to the fact that the sand occurs close to the base of the TMS.  While this area presents thick, higher resistivities in the TMS, this risk should be considered when designing the frac job.

Stratigraphic Cross Section (Datum: Base of TMS)

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale - Frac Risk Area

Strike Trending Stratigraphic Cross Section (Datum: Base of TMS)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Devon Submits Notice For Two TMS Units

Devon distributed notices to landowners indicating that they intend to file a pre-application notice for two 880 acre units in Fluker Field, Tangipahoa Parish, LA (Soterra 6H-1 permit).  In the notice they indicate that they are amending the permit for a well in Sand Unit A.  I assume that the lateral length for the Soterra 6H-1 will be lengthened from the current 2850'.  The units will be TMS RA SUA and TMS RA SUB. 

Potential TMS Units - Fluker Field

Lineaments & TMS Locations

In a prior post, I presented a map across the play that depicted the location of lineaments.  The current TMS locations are located very proximal to lineaments.  Devon's "4 for 4" while Encana is "2 for 3".  After many wells are drilled, this will be a map to revisit.

Friday, September 16, 2011

BP Makes It Official

Amoco's former "crown jewel", the Tuscaloosa, "went quietly in the night" this week.  BP's website did not even post a press release, but the Baton Rouge Advocate had an article about the sale to Hilcorp.
Key points:
-Current production is about 70 million standard cubic feet of gas a day, gross.
-35 wells
-BP signed the deal Sept. 8 and expects to complete the sale by Oct. 1.
No sale price was mentioned. The rumor is sub-$200M.

The entire article:

Bouguer Gravity & TMS Locations

In a prior post, I presented a Bouguer gravity map across the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Play.  The map below depicts the gravity contours along with the current TMS well locations.  Most of the wells are located within the gravity low which should be a plus.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Louisiana State Lease Sale Results 9-14-11

It appears that Anadarko did very well filling in some holes at the LA State Lease Sale. 
Detailed results:

Tuscaloosa Hydrocarbon Source

The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale is a known source rock in the Tuscaloosa Trend.  During my Amoco years working the Tuscaloosa in the early 90's, our research group performed hydrocarbon source analysis on several wells in the deep Tuscaloosa Trend.  Hydrocarbon source was determined to be from three intervals: Lower Cretaceous, Tuscaloosa shales, and the Eutaw (Tusc Marine Shale).  In one unique case, Austin Chalk oil sourced Tuscaloosa sands in Lockhart Crossing Field due to juxtaposition across the large growth fault that divides the field.

The maps below present the outline of the higher resistivities in the TMS (blue dashes) along with the cumulative production from all of the fields in the deep Tuscaloosa Trend.  An interesting correlation exists between the termination points of deep Tuscaloosa production on both the east and west sides with a decrease in resistivities in the TMS.  Coincidence? A similar geological environment exists in the TMS in Washington, St. Tammany, and southern Tangipahoa Parishes, but TMS resistivities are much lower than the area to the west and northwest.  Does the alignment of the east/west TMS resistivities and the borders of the deep Tuscaloosa production indicate a hydrocarbon migration story?  Is it a coincidence that Port Hudson Field (1.3 TCFE) is located directly in the center of the high resistivity outline when projected updip?   Join the discussion and post a comment.

Tuscaloosa Producing Fields: Cumulative Production; Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Higher Resistivity Outline
Tuscaloosa Producing Fields; Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Higher Resistivity Outline

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale: Frac Risks - Lithology

One of the known risks with the TMS play is lithological and mineralogical content of the shale for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing.  High calcareous and silica content are desired to provide for rock brittleness.  Of importance when trying to assess the rock properties of the TMS is the transition to the lithological unit known as the Pilot Lime in the deep Tuscaloosa Trend.  This interval, original named the Bain Marker by Chevron in the 70's, is a very calcareous rich zone located in the basal portion of the TMS.  The Pilot Lime is easily recognized on the gamma ray log. 

At Port Hudson Field, the casing shoe is set in this interval prior to drilling through the normally pressured Tuscaloosa sands.  During my Amoco days in the Tuscaloosa, we used a device called a "calcimeter" to measure the calcium carbonate percentage from the cuttings to determine when the Pilot Lime was penetrated.  Very high percentages of calcium carbonate occur in this interval.  A "more marine" environment will likely present better rock properties for hydraulic fracturing.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Devon Lane 64-1: Passey Log Analysis

The Passey Log Analysis Method is presented below for the Devon Lane 64-1 indicating encouraging results.  Devon's two perforations indicate that they are focused on the middle section of the shale where maximum separation occurs in the deep induction and neutron porosity.  We look forward to their horizontal well offset to this vertical test.

Passey Log Analysis Method

In 1990, the geoscientists at Exxon developed a log analysis method for integrating well logs with total organic carbon data.

“A practical method, the ‘delta log r’ technique, for identifying and calculating total organic carbon in organic-rich rocks has been developed using well logs.  The method employs the overlaying of a properly scaled porosity log (generally the sonic transit time curve) on a resistivity curve (preferably a deep-reading tool).  In water-saturated, organic-lean rocks, the two curves parallel each other and can be overlain, since both curves respond to variations in formation porosity; however, in either hydrocarbon reservoir rocks or organic-rich non-reservoir rocks, a separation between the curves occurs.  Using the gamma-ray curve, reservoir intervals can be identified and eliminated from the analysis.  The separation in organic-rich intervals results from two effects: the porosity curve responds to the presence of low-density, low-velocity kerogen, and the resistivity curve responds to the formation fluid.  In an immature organic-rich rock, where no hydrocarbons have been generated, the observed curve separation is due solely to the porosity curve response.  In mature source rocks, in addition to the porosity curve response, the resistivity increases because of the presence of generated hydrocarbons.  The magnitude of the curve separation in no-reservoirs is calibrated to total organic carbon and maturity, and allows for depth profiling of organic richness in the absence of sample data. This method allows organic richness to be accurately assess in a wide variety of lithologies and maturities using common well logs.”
Q.R. Passey, S. Creaney, J.B. Kulla, F.J. Moretti, and J.D. Stroud
AAPG Bulletin, December 1990, p. 1777-1794

Passey Log Analysis Method: Model vs TMS Example
Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Examples

Passey Log Analysis Method Compared to a Mudlog

Thomas Bowman, AAPG Search & Discovery Article #110128, 6/14/10

Thomas Bowman, AAPG Search & Discovery Article #10328, 6/30/11

Saturday, September 10, 2011

BP Tuscaloosa Asset Sale

Many rumors were flying in "Tuscaloosaville" this week indicating that BP closed a deal with Hilcorp to sell all of their Tuscaloosa Trend assets.  This has not been confirmed by a press release from either company.  Hilcorp is a major player in Louisiana, so it makes sense.  Current daily gas for BP's operated wells totalled 47.6 mmcfgd in May, 2011 (Source: DrillingInfo).

Amoco and BP did a thorough job developing the fields on the west side of the Mississippi River and at Port Hudson.  The exploratory potential will likely be within the Tigerland 3D covering Comite and Lockhart Crossing Fields.  In addition, Hilcorp might pursue the Austin Chalk across the HBP acreage.

BP Tuscaloosa Assets

Hydraulic Fracturing Issues

According to Maurer Engineering Inc. in May, 2010, the Eagle Ford shale was still challenged by the issues below.  In it's infancy, the TMS has a long way to go.

Following are fracing issues that have not yet been resolved in the Eagle Ford since this field is very new and is still on the steep part of the learning curve. These issues will be addressed on the JIP:
1. Open hole vs. cemented liners
2. Production vs. number frac stages
3. Slick water vs. viscous fluids
4. Sliding sleeves vs. perforating
5. $3 million vs. $6 million fracs
6. 20,000 vs. 40,000 horsepower fracs
7. Abrasive jet vs. shaped charge perforating
8. Sand vs. ceramic proppants
9. Acid soluble cements
10. Coiled tubing fracing
11. Wellbore connectivity problems
12. Acidizing applications
13. Microseismic real time uses
14. Frac equipment and instrumentation
15. Ball drop techniques
16. Screen outs and flow back problems
17. Fracture initiation and propagation
18. Fracing problems and solutions
19. Guiding wellbores through "sweet spots"
20. Fracing into water zones and overlying Austin Chalk
21. Effect of wellbore orientation and vertical placement on well performance
22. Enhancement and propping of natural fractures
23. Permeable horizontal layers in eagle ford
24. Improved horizontal drilling procedures
25. Improved completions
26. Improved and lower cost frac designs
27. "Intelligent" vs. "Brute Force" fracs
28. Overall well economics
29. Shortage of fracing equipment
30. Excessive frac costs

Friday, September 9, 2011

Antinum Operating Goes Deep With An AC Dual Lateral

Antinum Operating permitted a deep dual lateral in the Austin Chalk in St. Landry Parish.

API: 1709721075    Serial: 243774
Well name: AUS C RA SUD;INDIGO 16
Lateral #1: MD 20254  TVD 17394
Lateral #2: MD 22671  TVD 17538
Location: 16-3s-5e
1325' FSL & 2005' FEL OF SEC 16. PBHL#1: N 30 D 11' 17' E-2951.25' FROM SURF LOC IN SEC 16. PBHL#2: S 12 D 37' 57" E - 5336.17' FROM SURF LOC IN SEC 21.

Current Austin Chalk Wells

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Devon's TMS Blitz Continues

Devon permitted another TMS well today.  The well is the horizontal offset to their first TMS well, the Lane 64-1, that they conventionally cored, completed vertically, and hydraulically fractured.  Based on the coordinates provided, it appears that the same pad site will be used.

API: 1703720153    SERIAL: 243776
Wellname: TMS RA SUA;LANE 64 H
Measured Depth: 20100   True Vertical Depth: 15500
Lateral Length: 4600'
Location: 64-3s-1e
N 26 D 56' 44" W - 11,447.96' FROM NGS MONU. "WHITE" IN SEC 64. PBHL: N 17 D 33' 33" E - 5080.19' FROM SURF LOC IN SEC 67.

For a detailed review of this unit:

Ethel Field - Devon Energy Unit