DUG Permian: Making Barrels In Midland

FORT WORTH, Texas—Experimentation with new technology and techniques is the name of the game in the Permian’s Midland Basin, where some operators are using nanoparticles in the hydraulic fracturing process, improving type curves and discovering more oil and gas.

Approach Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: AREX) is among those seeing the benefits of technology in the play with its so-called “science wells” as it tweaks stage and cluster spacing along with concentrations of fluid, chemicals and particles in fluid. Changes implemented have led to improved production in the Wolfcamp, according to Approach Resources CEO J. Ross Craft, who gave several examples during Hart Energy’s recent DUG Permian Basin conference and exhibition.

“We picked three wells—one each in the A bench, B bench and C bench—and we adjusted stage spacing down to an average of 174 ft. We pumped roughly 2,000 lbs/ft,” Craft said. The technique also included use of nanoparticles. “The oil production on these three wells averaged 22% higher than the type curve. We’re pretty excited about what we’re seeing.”

Like the Delaware sub-basin, the Midland Basin boasts stacked-pay potential with drilling focused mainly on the Wolfcamp Formation. E&Ps have added horizontal drilling techniques to the Midland’s history of vertical wells in the Spraberry, giving rise to more production by large public oil and gas companies and smaller private E&Ps alike.

Technology and improved techniques, reservoir knowledge and a willingness to take risks remain key for producers.