Thursday, March 22, 2018

How Two Wells in Wyoming Explain the Natural-Gas Glut -- WSJ -- March 22, 2018

From The Wall Street Journal today: How Two Wells in Wyoming Explain the Natural-Gas Glut. Demand is growing, but so are the troves of gas being unearthed by prospectors. With 154 comments.

I don't think this article adds much to the discussion but it's interesting nonetheless.

From the lede:
Fuel prices are depressed. A pair of wells in southwest Wyoming helps explain why.
This winter, Ultra Petroleum Corp., just months after emerging from bankruptcy, completed two huge wells in the state, drilling down more than two miles and then sideways for another two. Each have produced enough gas to fuel every household in Wyoming.
Ultra’s wells—whose initial flows have been among the largest ever in the U.S.—show how prospectors continue to unearth huge troves of gas.
That output is offsetting increases in the fuel’s use and keeping a lid on prices.
Repeat: each well has already produced enough gas to fuel every household in Wyoming.

The other nice thing about the article -- because of the blog I was able to a) understand it; and, b) put it in perspective.

"Two miles down and then sideways for another two miles": identical to what's going on in the Bakken.

From the article:
In April 2016, Ultra filed for bankruptcy protection after low gas prices pushed its earnings relative to debt below thresholds spelled out in agreements with creditors. When the Houston company emerged from bankruptcy protection a year later, it embarked on a plan to drill horizontal wells.
A horizontal well in 2016 was a flop. But this time, Ultra drilled a gusher, which maxed out at the equivalent of 51 million cubic feet a day. A third well was far less prolific.
For the fourth well, begun in January, the company went back to the more successful well design, which involved pumping 281,000 barrels of water and 12.4 million pounds of sand beneath the surface. This attempt was even better than the preceding one, producing as much as the equivalent of 54.5 million cubic feet a day. It cost about $9 million.
 281,000 bbls of water? What's that? Converts to 11 million gallons of water.

Sand: about 11%.

Water, sand, percentage: about the same we are seeing in the big fracks in the Bakken. Ultra may have gotten the "ink" today, but operators in the Bakken have been doing this for the past ten (10) years. And for less money in many cases.

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