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

Bouguer Gravity & Lineaments

A regional evaluation of bouguer gravity and lineaments presents positive support for the "hydrocarbon kitchen" and likelihood of fractures across both the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and Austin Chalk plays.  A large gravity low that branches off of the Wiggins Arch exists in the heart of "higher resistivity" area of the TMS Play.  Lineament clusters exist in the mid-dip region of the "higher resistivity" area and in great frequency in the western half of the play in Vernon and Rapides Parishes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Scout Report - September 7, 2011

This week's Scout Report:

Drilling Activity Map

Devon Permits Another TMS Well

Devon Energy Production Co. LP permitted a new well in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Play.
API: 1710520039 Serial: 243765
TVD: 13000' MD: 15850' Lateral Length: 2850'
Well: SOTERRA 6 H #1
Tangipahoa Parish, LA
 3-6s-7e           N 56 D 46' 09" E - 26,950.78' FROM NGS MONU. "MCCOY" IN SEC 6. PBHL: S 26 D 48' 03" W - 3403.93' FROM SURF LOC IN SEC 7.

Indigo Bentley Lumber 32 #1 IP's at 5 BOPD

An initial potential has finally been released by the LA Office of Conservation for Indigo Minerals' Bentley Lumber 32-1:

COMPLETED 5-7-11; OIL; LA EAGLE FORD SHALE; 5 BOPD; 8 MCFD; 1600/1 GOR; 40 GVTY; 48/64 CHOKE; 46 BWD; FP PUMPING; 50# CP; PERFS 11,562-11,704'

This well is a vertical completion.  The "jury is still out" for the western portion of the play where resistivities are lower until a horizontal completion is performed.  Indigo's Bentley Lumber 34H-1 is drilling at 13247'.  This horizontal should provide key information for the prospectivity of the western portion of the play.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bakken Shale Completion

The Bakken Shale presents a "laboratory" to learn from for the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.  Continental Resources presented this diagram in a July 2010 presentation.  With Encana already permitting 7000' laterals, we might see 9000' in the future.

Entire Presentation:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Comment Responses

For some reason Google is not letting me respond to comments.  Here are responses for recent questions:

Free Medicine said...
How can I find out the reason the Ms. Oil and Gas Board declined the unit proposal on the Encana Anderson 17 H ? The large size possibly?
September 1, 2011 7:31 PM
I'm not an expert on the Mississippi Oil & Gas Board processes. The two units were similar in size, shape, and orientation. Not really sure.  I've been told that the Anderson unit was not declined but "continued". I assume that is like in the NFL "under further review".
7a439584-c9c2-11e0-b072-000bcdcb2996 said...
What about East Baton Rouge and Livingston? Why are these two areas not developing? What are they doing on the well Gordon located on Joor Road near Gurney Road in The City of Central (EBRP)? I saw a big rig with some equipment on the trailer, a pick-up, and about a 100 to 150 ton crane come out of that site. Thanks
August 18, 2011 10:50 AM
These areas are very deep for the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.  Deep means higher costs and more operationally challenging.  The well near Central, BP Edwards #1, a Tuscaloosa sand well, has recently completed in three zones with no success.  The well is now classified as “shut-in future utility”.
H C has left a new comment on your post "Tuscaloosa Marine Shale - Resistivity Discussion":
What does resistivity refer to? This is new to me.
Detailed response here:

Free Medicine has left a new comment on your post "Scout Report - August 23, 2011":
On the Devon Lane well 1st frac stage what do they mean by "Pumped at 35 bpm" ?
BPM is “barrels per minute”.  This represents the rate at which the frac fluid enters the formation.  It provides a good indicator of the rock’s permeability.

Free Medicine has left a new comment on your post "Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Presentation":
You might mention water needs and opportunities for landowners to sell water for fracking. Good resource for info: Benjamin Hall at Wright Water Resources in the Haynesville shale -
I have no knowledge, experience, or contacts in this area.

sligoo has left a new comment on your post "Encana Permits Two TMS Wells In Mississippi":
I think that I read somewhere that Goodrich was in a Joint Venture with Encana in this well. What does that mean, if true?
I have not heard that.

sligoo has left a new comment on your post "Tuscaloosa Marine Shale Presentation":
I envy your trip to my favorite city. Here I am stuck in blandest part of the nation....Houston. Please post your presentation when you can.
I will be posting next week.

Free Medicine has left a new comment on your post "Encana BOE #1H - July Production":
How can I find out the reason the Mississippi Oil & Gas Board declined the unit proposal on the Encana Anderson 17 H ? The large size possibly?
I’m not that experienced with the Mississippi Oil & Gas Board.  I've been told that the Anderson unit was not declined but "continued". I understand that the proposal will be presented again next month.  The unit was the same size, shape, and orientation as the one at Horseshoe Hill.  Due to the fact that both units were opposed, maybe the board felt they had to reject one.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scout Report - August 30, 2011

This week's belated Scout Report:

Swift Permits Another Austin Chalk Well

Encana BOE #1H - July Production

I've been informed that the Encana Board of Education #1H produced approximately 7000 barrels for the month of July.  The exact number of days producing is not confirmed.

Encana's Horseshoe Hill

I've been told that Encana's Horseshoe Hill unit application (1029 acres; Wilkinson Cty) was approved last week, while their Anderson 17H-1 unit application (Amite Cty; 1074 acres) was declined.
The Horseshoe Hill well has been permitted:
API: 2315722027
Well Name: HORSESHOE HILL 10 H #1
Location: Sec. 10-1n-1w
Latitude: 31.058001   Longitude: -91.244759