Aethon Applies To Change The Haynesville Zone Depth Definition In Caspiana Drilling Units

Aethon has two pending applications on the Commissioner's public hearing schedule for June 15.  These applications are a significant upward extension of the Haynesville Zone from the original definition and appear to be in conflict with the Commissioner's order prohibiting the combination of shale intervals with sand intervals in the same unit depth definition.  I have a blog that covers the units that were approved in early 2008 before the commissioner made his ruling.  Those units were grandfathered in as approved but there have been no other attempts to do this until now.  Click on the attached files to see the applications and the sections/units covered.

The original, approved depth definition in the Caspiana Field was 10,910' - 11,487'.

The requested redefinition depth is 9,550 - 11,350'.  That is an increase of 1360' of shallower formations/zones and appears to include at least some portion of the Cotton Valley Sands Group.

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The mineral owners, and their attorneys,  that have depth limitation clauses in their existing lease contracts should pay particular attention to this attempt to redefine the HA zone.

Other than to possibly shaft the various mineral owners by capturing the Cotton Valley within the definition of the Haynesville zone, I can’t imagine
how Aethon could possibly justify this action to the Commission!

That was my second thought.  My first was that the current depth definition is quite narrow and appeared to exclude the Mid-Bossier interval.  However, after consulting a geologist we both know, it appears that the Bossier that far north has insufficient porosity to be an economic reservoir.

Skip, even if your second thought was accurate and the Bossier was commercially productive that far north, I doubt that the top of the Bossier formation would be 1,360' (10,910 vs 9,550') shallower that the top of the Haynesville in that location.,  I smell a rat!

I agree that the upward depth revision would include more than the Mid-Bossier.  Unless I missed some, there are no LCV units in the application sections. That begs the question, what is the approved CV depth interval in the Caspiana Field?   And are existing wells labeled as CV drilled not only to sands recognized as CV but also as LCV?

I remain curious about this move by Aethon but haven't as yet come up with an educated guess that satisfies me.

Thanks for the reminder, Spring Branch.  I looked up the original Caspiana CV Field Order to compare the depth interval to what Aethon has proposed.  That CV interval is 8400 - 9500'.  9500' is 50' above the top of Aethon's proposed top of the HA at 9550'.

When I get time I'll try to look at the TVDs in the CV wells in the area of the field where Aethon proposes this change and see if it looks like there are LCV wells that are labeled CV.  We may have to call on our geologist for an opinion.

We may have to call in the cavalry on this one, Spring.  Upon cursory examination it appears to me that the CV depth definition includes the LCV although there are a number of landing depths and perfed intervals across the wells I looked at.  A number of wells labeled as CV have been later re-completed as CV/HOSS and those are some wide perfed intervals, 6292 - 9456' for example.

This effects me too. I have properties in the Caspiana.  And I too smell a rat.

William, if you own minerals in one of the affected sections or in close proximity and are an Aethon lessor, you might want to call or email the company to see if they might provide an explanation.


Would be interested in where tops and bases of the CV “C” / CV “D” / Buckner fit within the log on this one...  and would check leases for strata provisions re: tops and bottoms of the “producing / producible” zones...  Most leases are only concerned with the base or some interval below the base of such a zone - but there might be a few where the top matters.

Thanks, Dion.  I'm not familiar with a source for the depth intervals of the varying CV sands in that locale.  I do agree that this is an issue that mineral lessors with depth limitations in their lease should consider.  I suspect that the majority of them had some form of professional assistance in crafting that lease language.  This is one Commissioner's agenda item that I wouldn't mind being in attendance for.  I suspect there may be representatives for mineral lessors and possibly operators of more shallow formations in attendance to ask questions if not to out right object to the application. 


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