Gulfport Energy Corp. seized Wall Street attention recently when it announced results for its first Utica shale well that turned in the highest rate yet for the play.
After a 60-day “rest” period, the Wagner 1-28H had a peak rate of 4,650 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), assuming full ethane recovery (3,750 boe/d, assuming ethane rejection). The Wagner well is the first of several to follow Gulfport’s practice of undertaking drilling and completion operations and then allowing the wells to “rest” for 60 days before the flowing process.
CEO James Palm called the Wagner 1-28H “by far the strongest well that Gulfport has ever drilled,” and said the Utica “stands to be a real company changer for Gulfport.” An indication of the strength of the Wagner well, with 28 frac stages, was that flowing casing pressure dipped only 200 psi (5,200 to 5,000 psi), even as flow rates rose above 17 million cubic feet/day (MM/d) from an initial test rate of 12.1 MM/d. (The peak rate of 4,650 boe/d breaks down into 50% natural gas, 41% natural gas liquids (NGL) and 9% condensate, assuming full ethane recovery.)
With the market eager for further data on the play, Gulfport provided additional information on three wells that were in the “resting” period. To provide “very preliminary” well data, Gulfport modified its completion practice by isolating just one frac stage -- the final frac stage of each well -- to allow a flow rate in the three wells. All three wells tested significant condensate production from the single frac stage and had high Btu gas (over 1,200 Btu) that can support significant NGL production.
For example, the Boy Scout 1-33H flowed at a rate of 470 Mcf/day of gas (1,310 Btu) and 40 barrels (bbl) of condensate within a seven hour test, while the Groh 1-12H tested at 384 Mcf/day (1,289 Btu) and 192 bb/d of condensate. After the tests, the wells resumed their “rest” period.
CFO Michael Moore said the “big takeaway” is that as wells in the play are located farther west, Gulfport is seeing more condensate and higher Btu gas. The company has identified 50 drilling locations and is likely to add a third rig later this year. If it were to drill 50 wells in 2013, up from the 20 planned for this year, a fourth rig would be needed, assuming each rig could drill one well per month. Based on industry well data “from north to south and from east to west, we are starting to feel that we are already finding a sweet spot, and we continue to see that our acreage seems to be located right in the middle of it,” said Palm.
Contact the author, Christopher Sheehan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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