While still under his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump has made significant headway on his campaign promise to roll back Obama-era climate change policies in order to “bring back our jobs.”

On March 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration withdrew its request that owners and operators in the oil and gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing operations.

According to IHS Markit, the EPA announcement indicated that “it further advances efforts by the White House and Republicans in Congress to undo the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate emissions from oil and gas production.”

In addition, Trump signed an executive order on March 28 to undo six executive orders and presidential memorandums guiding the Obama administration’s climate change policies.

“We’re going to bring back our jobs, bring back our dreams and make America wealthy again,” the president said at the signing ceremony at the EPA.

The oil and gas industry embraced the action that undid the centerpiece of former president Barack Obama’s climate change policies, the Clean Power Act.

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Politics Aside, Methane Emissions-Fighting Mission Continues

Under Obama, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued the methane and waste prevention rule, also known as the venting and flaring rule, in 2016. The regulation required operators to reduce the release of natural gas into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations on public and Indian lands.

The U.S. Department of the Interior estimated the new flaring limits would affect about 16% of existing wells, which account for about 87% of gas flared. The limits were to apply only to flared associated gas from production wells, not flaring from exploration or wildcat wells or during emergencies.

The previous rules were passed in 1987 governing venting, flaring, and leaks of natural gas to help curb waste of public resources, reduce harmful methane emissions, and provide a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, tribes and states, according to the Interior Department.

San Juan Basin

San Juan Basin Activity Highlights March 2017 Google Map

1. Encana: 3/3/17

Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) received a drilling permit for an extended-reach horizontal Gallup (Mancos) San Juan Basin test in San Juan County, N.M.

The #109H Betonnie Tsosie Unit will be in Section 11-23n-8w, and the planned depth is 13,885 ft. It will be drilled southeastward and will bottom in Section 13-23n-8w with a true vertical depth of 5,183 ft. The well is the first project in the proposed Betonnie Tsosie Federal Unit.

In 2014, Calgary, Alberta-based Encana requested state regulators establish the Betonnie Tsosie Wash Gallup Unit consisting of 5,760 acres of federal and allotted Indian lands in all or parts of sections 21-23, 26-28, and 33-35 of township 23n-8w, San Juan County.

2. WPX Energy: 2/2/17

WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX) plans to drill 12 horizontal San Juan Basin-Gallup (Mancos) tests in San Juan County, IHS reported.

Tulsa, Okla.-based WPX applied with the BLM for West Lybrook Unit, which would include two multiwell pads, roads, well-connect pipelines and range improvement ponds. The 12-well project would be located on Navajo Indian Allotted lands as well as public lands within sections 23, 24, 25, and 26-23n-9w. 

The company will drill six wells (#720H; #722H; #724H; #756H; #757H and #758H WLU) from a common drillpad Section 23-23n-9w. The remaining six wells (#726H; #728H; #729H, #759H; #760H and #761H WLU) will be in Section 23-23n-9w.

3. BP: 1/24/17

A horizontal exploratory test is planned by London-based BP Plc (NYSE: BP) in the northern San Juan Basin area in San Juan County.

Located in Section 19-28n-11w, #2H Gallegos Canyon Unit 599 Com will be drilled to the southwest to test the Paguate Sand member of Dakota (lower Cretaceous). The planned depth is 16,045 ft, 6,039 ft true vertical, and will bottom in Section 24-28n-12w.

From the same drillpad, BP also plans to drill #1H Gallegos Canyon Unit 599 Com, a proposed horizontal Gallup (Mancos) exploratory test.

BP also has locations staked for three more horizontal Gallup exploratory tests in the area at: #1H Gallegos Canyon Unit 247E Com, Section 5-27n-12w; #2H Gallegos Canyon Unit 247E Com, Section 5-27n-12w; and #124E-1H Gallegos Canyon Unit in Section 35-28n-12w. BP is based in London.

4. WPX Energy: 11/18/16

WPX Energy completed six horizontal Gallup (Mancos) producers from a common drillpad in the San Juan Basin in Section 12-23n-9w in San Juan County, according to IHS.

The six horizontal projects all have extended-reach laterals of 1-2 miles in length and are on the West Lybrook Unit. WPX has typically drilled one-section lateral wells in the Gallup Play.

The #707H WLU was drilled to 10,222 ft, 4,993 ft true vertical. A lateral was drilled to the northwest and length is 4,647 ft. After 21-stage fracturing, it produced 1,326 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

The #708H WLU was drilled to 11,163 ft, 4,920 ft true vertical. A lateral was drilled to the northwest and the length is 5,809 ft. After 27-stage fracturing, it produced 1,255 boe/d.

The #709H WLU was drilled to 12,488 ft, 4,866 ft true vertical. A lateral was drilled to the northwest and the length is 6,932 ft and it bottomed in Section 11-23n-9w. After 33-stage fracturing, it produced 1,240 boe/d.

The #747H WLU was drilled to 14,818 ft, 4,908 ft true vertical. A lateral was drilled to the southwest and the length is 9,281 ft. It was tested after 44-stage fracturing producing 1,445 boe/d.

The #748H WLU was drilled to 13,507 ft, 4,916, true vertical. A lateral was drilled to the southeast and the length is 8,129 ft and it bottomed in Section 17-23n-8w. It was tested after 38-stage fracturing producing 1,406 boe/d.

The #749H WLU was drilled to 14,320 ft, 4,888 ft true vertical. A lateral was drilled to the southeast and the length is 8,746 ft and it bottomed in Section 19-23n-8w. It was tested after 42-stage fracturing and produced 1,491 boe/d.

Up to 54 laterals are planned in the unit and WPX holds more than 225,000 net acres in the San Juan Basin with 3,900 gross (operated and nonoperated) locations.

5. BP: 8/16/16

BP scheduled three horizontal Gallup (Mancos) San Juan Basin exploratory tests in San Juan County, IHS said.

The #1H Gallegos Canyon Unit 247E Com, Section 5-27n-12w, will be horizontally drilled westward in Gallup to 12,825 ft and will bottom in Section 6-27n-12w. The planned true vertical depth is 5,125 ft.

The #2H Gallegos Canyon Unit 247E Com, Section 5-27n-12w, will be horizontally drilled northwestward in Gallup to 11,123 ft and will bottom in Section 6-27n-12w. The planned true vertical depth is 5,243 ft.

The #1H Gallegos Canyon Unit 599 Com, Section 19-28n-11w, will be horizontally drilled westward in Gallup to 14,962 ft and will bottom in Section 24-28n-12w. The planned true vertical depth is 5,150 ft.

There are no horizontal Gallup producers in the area, which primarily produces gas from shallow Fruitland and Pictured Cliffs wells in Basin Field.

6. WPX Energy: 6/7/16

WPX Energy completed three Gallup producers from a common drillpad in the San Juan Basin in Section 33-24n-8w in San Juan County.

The #112H MC 5 Com initially flowed 559 barrels (bbl) of oil, 1.656 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas and 220 bbl of water per day. Production is from a horizontal interval at 6,343 ft-13,134 ft. It was tested on a 48/64-inch choke following 33-stage fracturing, and the flowing tubing pressure was 520 pounds per square inch (psi).

The lateral in Gallup extends from 6,269 ft southeastward to 13,156 ft, and it bottomed in Section 34-24n-8w with a true vertical depth of 5,570 ft.

The #119H MC 5 Com initially flowed 573 bbl of oil, 1.152 MMcf of gas and 127 bbl of water per day from a Gallup lateral extending from 6,039 ft southeastward to 13,485 ft, and it bottomed in Section 34-24n-8w. It was tested on a 64/64-inch choke after a 35-stage fracturing at 6,138 ft-13,466 ft.

The #906H MC 5 Com initially flowed 212 bbl of oil, 3.552 MMcf of gas and 507 bbl of water per day. Production is from a horizontal lateral in Gallup extending from 5,940 ft southeastward to 14,155 ft and it bottomed in Section 34-24n-8w. It was tested on a 64/64-inch choke following 38-stage fracturing between 6,001 ft and 14,134 ft.

7. WPX Energy: 5/6/16

WPX Energy applied for drilling permits for four horizontal tests targeting the Gallup Sand member of Mancos in a new San Juan Basin unit.

The wells will be drilled from a common drillpad in Section 17-23n-9w in San Juan County. The ventures are #768H Kimbeto Wash Unit, #769H Kimbeto Wash Unit, #770H Kimbeto Wash Unit and #771H Kimbeto Wash Unit.

WPX's proposal includes the construction of one multiwell drillpad for four horizontal wells, one access road and one-well connect pipeline.

In late 2015, WPX asked the state Oil Conservation Division to approve a new unit, the Kimbeto Wash Unit, to create of a new pool for horizontal development within the unit area, and allow for 330-ft setbacks from the exterior of the proposed unit.

The Kimbeto Wash Unit comprises about 5,279 acres of federal and allotted Indian lands in all or parts of sections 17-21 and 28-32 of township 23n-9w, San Juan County.

The unitized interval for the new unit includes Mancos at a depth of 2,873 ft down to the stratigraphic equivalent of the top of Graneros at a depth of 4,680 ft as encountered in #1-E Federal in Section 17-22n-9w. The planned drillpad is one mile southwest of a 4,758-ft vertical Gallup producer in the South Bisti Field at #3 Luna.

The 1996 completion initially pumped 31 bbl of oil with 20,000 cubic feet of gas per day. It was tested following acidizing and fracturing from perforations between 4,555 and 4,653 ft.

Larry Prado, activity editor, can be reached at lprado@hartenergy.com.

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