Technology takes Permian Basin productivity to record levels

Growth in domestic crude and natural gas production will continue to come from the Permian Basin.

In its Monthly Drilling Productivity Report, the US Energy Information Administration projects that US oil production will average 9.1 million barrels per day in November and gas production will average 95 .1 billion cubic feet per day.

Of that amount, oil production from the Permian Basin is expected to average 5.5 million barrels per day, or 60% of total US monthly production. This far exceeds the contribution of Bakken and Eagle Ford – 13% each – or the four other major production basins, which will provide the remaining 14%.

While Haynesville will see the strongest growth in natural gas production in November, the EIA said the Permian will average 21.1 billion cubic feet per day or 22% of US production. Appalachia is expected to produce 35.7 Bcf or 38% while Haynesville will be 16.1 Bcf or 17%.

The EIA credits technological advancements being perfected in the Permian Basin for driving a new record well productivity in the region in 2021.

The average productivity of new wells in the Permian Basin has increased for 12 consecutive years. The central areas of the Permian Basin and its Delaware and Midland subbasins contain several stacked shale formations. In 2021, each new well drilled in the Permian Basin produced an average of 960 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The Permian Basin has produced oil and associated natural gas from vertical wells for decades, the agency noted. Since 2010, advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to rapid production growth. The number of new horizontal wells increased to 4,524 in 2021, from 350 in 2010.

According to the EIA report, a key factor in well productivity is the length of the horizontal lateral. In the Permian Basin, the average horizontal length of wells has increased to more than 10,000 feet in the first nine months of 2022, from less than 4,000 feet in 2010.

“It’s an exciting time to be in West Texas,” Casey Maxwell, vice president of the Permian Basin region at Halliburton, told The Reporter-Telegram via email. “We have seen an increase in activity since 2020, and operators are using new completion techniques that we pioneered to stimulate multiple wells simultaneously using a single fleet. This helps operators improve capital efficiency and complete wells faster than ever before. Additionally, more and more operators are choosing all-electric fleets to reduce emissions and achieve fuel savings while maintaining quality of service performance.

Jack Harper, executive vice president, Lower 48 at ConocoPhillips, told investment analysts on the company’s second quarter earnings call that by the end of the year, the company will have been able to to drill 80 three-mile wells in the Permian Basin over the past two years.

“We’re drilling these wells faster (and) we’re using simulfrac technology in various locations,” Harper told analysts.

Technology has helped Mewbourne Oil improve in all areas of the business

“Specifically,” Mewbourne Chairman and CEO Ken Waits told The Reporter-Telegram via email, “the technology allows us to drill longer laterals, multiple wells on the same pad and split multiple wells. at the same time, increases our efficiency and enables us to make better wells.

The technology also makes the artificial elevator better and more reliable, allowing the company to keep production online, he continued.

“We also use hardware and software to allow us to run our production 24/7,” Waits wrote. “Finally, technology allows us to reduce our environmental footprint, lower our methane emissions, use less water and operate more safely.”