As the Smackover (SMK) Lithium (Li) play picks up steam we need to acknowledge that from regulatory and legal standpoints, there will be significant differences between the play in South Arkansas and in East Texas.  Very soon we expect to know more about royalty provisions and regulatory guidelines.  From past experience with dissimilarities between Texas and Louisiana mineral laws and regulatory statutes governing the Haynesville Shale, we hope to limit confusion and make it easier to access the information that will be pertinent to land and mineral owners.

In order to help members and quests to the website and to avoid confusion, we will start two new discussions, one for Texas and one for Arkansas.  There is an abundance of information in the original SMK Lithium discussion threads and members may want to click on them and then save them to their computer bookmarks/favorites to be able to access them in the future as they will eventually rotate off the main page.  After 24 hours, comments in those discussions will be closed but the replies will remain available in the website archive.   Archived discussions are available by using the search box in the upper right corner of all website pages.

GoHaynesvilleShale.com was one of the first resources for mineral owners to learn basics, share information and generally provide a place where mineral owners could become more informed managers of their mineral assets in the age of the Internet.  The website is pleased to continue to provide those services to those who will benefit from the SMK Lithium Play.  Please keep in mind two things.  You are a key part of the on the ground intelligence network by letting your friends and neighbors know about GoHaynesvilleShale.com and encouraging them to participate in site discussions.  And since GoHaynesvilleShale.com is free for all to use, please consider a donation to help keep the website online.

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Nice video - but (as expected), no references to heterogeneity and variability in the Smackover section as well as lithium concentrations.

It doesn't help that they included video showing "poison gas" and H2S signs at well sites.

People will react negatively to that.

Prediction - some people will eventually rebel against the idea of injecting all the processed water back into the ground. They will reference Permian Basin, aquifer issues and earthquakes.

Not valid reasons - but expect it to come.

Rock Man, I agree. Here are some things that members should keep in mind. The age of media reporters with even a basic understanding of oil and gas operations and subsurface geology is long over. We now get reports like this one from reporters with no background nor ability to ask the right questions and extract the detail that land/mineral owners can use. Older members can likely remember when this wasn't the case. That was back in decades where local, independent oil companies were abundant, local newspapers carried weekly oil and gas columns and many more people than today worked in the industry. Now what you will get it is a recitation of whatever the industry PR people provide in presentations or press releases.

H2S, though likely unintentionally introduced in the article, is a real concern and any lease for Smackover brine production should address it. Aquifer and seismic concerns from injecting brine back into the subsurface are the providence of state regulators. That is pretty straight forward and predictable. There are safe ways to manage both of those issues. The question is whether those regulators have the authority and political backing to do their job. Far too often corners are cut at the behest of the industry.

Equinor buys 45% stake in two US lithium projects

By Reuters  May 8, 2024

 Equinor on Wednesday said it has entered an agreement with Standard Lithium Limited to acquire a 45% stake in lithium projects located in Southwest Arkansas and East Texas.

Equinor will initially compensate Standard Lithium $30 million and cover project expenses up to $33 million. Potential future milestones could see Equinor pay an additional $70 million in aggregate to Standard Lithium if a final investment decision is taken, the release added.

Standard Lithium will retain operatorship, with Equinor contributing its experience in subsurface operations.

"We see sustainably produced lithium as an enabler in the energy transition," as this partnership allows Equinor to enter the lithium space while focusing on environmentally friendly Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE)technologies, Equinor senior vice president Morten Halleraker said.

President Joe Biden's landmark climate change law created big subsidies for producers of minerals like lithium, a key material for electric vehicles and battery storate, and copper that are needed in equipment like batteries and solar panels.

Equinor website / massive company

The max of $133 million is peanuts for them.\

Equinor: energizing the world, empowering people. - Equinor

I previously (April 27) posted an article in this thread titled, "Tetra Technologies outlines bromine-lithium plant plans for Lewisville audience" in which Tim Moeller, senior vice president for Global Supply Chain-Chemicals, made the following statement - "Moeller anticipates that the actual number of well pads will be small. Horizonal drilling technology will allow for one well pad to extract brine from many locations within the unit."  The emphasis added was my own because I had assumed that the brine supply wells would be vertical wells, not horizontal.  This was the first mention of horizontal wells so I thought it was significant but also thought it didn't sound plausible.  So where do you go when you have a question regarding subsurface geology and well designs?  That's right, Rock Man.  I put the question to him and here is his reply.  Thanks to Rock Man for clearing this up.  Prior articles have mentioned larger diameter wellbores.

Hz wells in the Smackover makes no sense - SMK reservoirs will give up lots of water easily so extra $$$ for longer laterals in the Smackover isn't needed
To get more fluid, one could just drill larger diameter vertical wells to allow for more flow
Set 7" to 8.625" casing to the Smackover instead of the normal 5.5" casing
Some more cost but nothing like Hz drilling 

Pantera taps world-leading oilfield tech company to define the Smackover’s lithium brine potential

  • SLB engaged to identify potential of Pantera’s Smackover lithium brines
  • Leading subsurface technology company to develop 3D static geological model
  • Model will identify optimal well locations for future well planning and designs

 

Special Report: Pantera Minerals is bringing out the big guns with the engagement of world leading subsurface technology company SLB to identify the potential of its Smackover lithium brine project ahead of drilling the first well.

SLB is the world’s leading subsurface expertise and technology company in the oilfield sector, which would by itself translate well to exploring for lithium brine projects given the strong similarity in exploration for the two commodities.

The contractor has also expanded its domain expertise in subsurface and sustainable lithium production technology over the years, making it perfectly suited to supporting Pantera Minerals’ (ASX:PFE) push to explore its project, which covers 18,570 acres of the Smackover Formation in Arkansas.

The Smackover’s prospectivity is best demonstrated by the quality of resource majors it has attracted with big names such as ExxonMobil, Albemarle, Standard Lithium and Tetra all developing potentially multi-billion dollar projects to supply the burgeoning lithium market.

Arkansas itself benefits from a well-established oil and gas industry, exceptional logistics and transportation links, and a proactive, supportive state government.

PFE has already defined an exploration target of between 436,000-2.96Mt of contained LCE within its Superbird project area and has identified multiple re-entry wells within its footprint.

Pantera’s acreage is right next to ExxonMobil’s ground. Pic: Pantera Minerals

 Leveraging leading expertise for lithium brine exploration

SLB will leverage its advanced subsurface technology and expertise to advance the already identified leads and multiple re-entry wells into drill-ready prospects.

It will use acquired 2D seismic, gravity and magnetic data to help define the extent of the Upper Smackover Formation and the location of faults for use in the 3D static modelling, which will identify optimal well locations for future well planning and designs.

This model will also be used by PFE for resource estimation ahead of maiden drilling and will be updated to a JORC-compliant resource estimation model once lithium brine geochemistry and porosity/permeability data is obtained from a well re-entry program.

“We are extremely excited to partner with SLB (NYSE: SLB), a global technology company, to complete and enhance sub-surface work in advance of our maiden drilling program,” executive chairman Barnaby Egerton-Warburton said.

“Our project already has an exploration target with a grade range between 225 to 450 mg/L with a median grade value of 338 mg/L and we hope to further refine and enhance that as we move through to the initial exploration phase.

“SLB’s extensive experience and proven track-record in subsurface analysis, reservoir and aquifer management, subsurface-surface technology integration, and operational performance will provide Pantera with an enhanced understanding of subsurface characteristics to inform better decision making.

“With the Arkansas Smackover boasting some of the highest-grade lithium brines globally, supporting oilfield services and infrastructure are now being established for America’s emerging lithium-brine industry, which includes Albemarle, Standard Lithium, Exxon Mobil and now Norway’s Equinor.”

 Future activity

PFE continues to lease mineral claims within the Daytona Exclusive Abstract Area and will carry out a well re-entry and brine sampling program to obtain brine lithium grade and brine chemistry as well as core samples for porosity assessment and geophysical/petrophysical data.

Additionally, it will carry out new well drilling and brine sampling to assist in defining a JORC lithium brine resource.

 This article was developed in collaboration with Pantera Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.  

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

Nice write up but all this really works out to be is a normal subsurface evaluation - no different than what has been done by O&G companies for decades.

Tying in all well control to seismic to map key horizons with focus on Smackover porosity / reservoir zones.

Utilizing seismic to map structure and possibly reservoir thickness (difficult to do at these depths in carbonate zones).

Mapping thickness of reservoir and storage capacity - in this case, formation water volumes vs O&G volumes.

As I said, O&G companies have been doing this for years - without having to pull in SLB or other third-party groups. SLB will get paid for all this work regardless of the results of the project as to lithium extraction.

Pantera Minerals sets course for Lafayette County brine leases

magnoliareporter.com  4/15/2024

Pantera Minerals Limited has announced near term work plans to define the subsurface geology and reservoir characteristics of the Pantera Lithium Brine Project in Lafayette County.

The engagement of SLB to develop a 3D Static Geological Model is a critical step in de-risking and optimizing the exploration planning and workflow and project development, Perth, Australia-based Pantera said in a statement.

In February 2024, Pantera formally acquired Daytona Lithium Pty Ltd, the holder of the Pantera Li Brine Project brine leases in Lafayette County.

The strategically positioned Pantera Li Brine Project is situated in the Smackover Formation in Southwest Arkansas, a renowned high-grade lithium brine formation. The area is home to various lithium brine explorers and producers, including industry leaders such as Exxon Mobil, Standard Lithium, Tetra Technologies and Albemarle Corporation.

Since Pantera’s initial investment, the Pantera Li Brine Project has increased materially to now cover a land position of over 18,570 leased acres. The property is west of ExxonMobil’s leases in southern Lafayette County.

The 3D Static Geological Model will be defined over a 40,000-acre Area of Interest that covers the extent of the 18,570 acres of mineral claims that Daytona Lithium currently holds.

A detailed gathering and review of existing data (well data, purchased 2D seismic, gravity, magnetics and well production data) will be performed to establish a baseline understanding of the subsurface geology and existing brine resource within the Smackover Formation within the AOI. Existing raster logs within the AOI will be digitized for use in the model. Reconstruction and well log harmonization of missing log data will be performed at this time. Historic production data in the area will be studied to understand porosity and permeability variations within the AOI. Numerous dry hydrocarbon holes and plugged wells are located within the area. SLB will download and study all available reports/data to review the suitability of wells for re-entry to obtain brine chemistry, geological, geophysical and petrophysical data for use in future brine resource estimation.

Consolidated digitized well data and 2D seismic data will be imported into a 3D modelling platform. A 3D grid will be generated representing the subsurface top and base of the Smackover Formation with the AOI.

Petrophysical editing of log data will be used to understand and calculate porosity of the target zones. SLB will conduct a regional study to establish porosity relationships with available sonic, gamma, and resistivity logs. Porosity logs are then required to be predicted and reconstructed from existing sets of data. A study of production data and existing core data is required to be completed to establish a relationship between permeability and porosity. After a fit-for-purpose gridding of the geological model, the properties of each cell (permeability, porosity, and lithium saturations) will be populated using the data provided by existing well controls and 2D seismic data. The 2D seismic data will undergo seismic inversion using rock properties derived from the petrophysical analysis performed on the logs and study area.

The 3D static model will be used to calculate mineral resource estimations in the AOI. This estimation will be updated with the static model as more data becomes available through drilling, sampling, and brine analysis.

Work will determine the optimal locations for initial one to three re-entry wells. This process involves reviewing around 45 wells in the AOI and correlating the wells against the 3D Static Geological Model.

Pantera’s 2024 goals are:

-- Continued mineral claim leasing with the Daytona Exclusive Abstract Area.

-- Completion of the 3D Static Geological Model.

-- Well re-entry and brine sampling program to obtain brine lithium grade and brine chemistry as well as core samples for porosity assessment and geophysical/petrophysical data.

-- New well drilling and brine sampling to assist in defining the lithium brine resourc

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