Article from Avoyelles Parish Newspaper concerning Austin Chalk and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale

Drilling to begin begin again in southeastern Avoyelles
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Several months after the last Austin Chalk well came up dry south of Simmesport, deep oil drilling will begin again in Southeastern portion of Avoyelles Parish.

A drilling rig should arrive at the site of the new well, Rosewood Plantation 21H, within two weeks, according to Pryme Energy of Australia. Pryme said it learned many lessons from previous wells in the area which came up short, leading to a pull back and restudy of the area. Now, Pryme, with a new form of funding, is ready to try again.

The wells in this area of the parish are targeting the Austin Chalk formation. But the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) may also hold oil in the area. In the north and central part of Avoyelles, there are two wells currently underway, one in Brouillette and one in Hamburg. A third well may be drilled in Brouillette in a new unit to the west of the current well site.

Here is the news release from Pryme:

Drilling to Restart in Turner Bayou

Operations Update


Drill rig to arrive on site within two weeks

Pryme appointed project operator

Substantial changes to engineering and completion procedures have been made

The Rosewood Plantation 21H well

Preparation of the drill site for Pryme Energy Limited’s (Pryme) next well in the Turner Bayou project,

the Rosewood Plantation 21H, is advanced and the drill rig is expected to begin moving to site within

two weeks. Drilling of the well will begin shortly thereafter. Weekly updates on drilling progress will

be released to the ASX each Tuesday morning Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Pryme appointed Operator of the Turner Bayou project

Pryme’s wholly owned subsidiary, Pryme Energy LLC, has been appointed operator of the Turner

Bayou project.

“Our relationship with Nelson Energy, the former operator of the project and an equity participant,

remains strong as we embark on drilling the Rosewood Plantation 21H together. Both Pryme and

Nelson Energy are participating in this next well to the full extent of their equity interests as well as

assuming their proportionate shares of any non-consenting interest,” said Justin Pettett, Pryme’s

Managing Director.

Interest in the Rosewood Plantation 21H (Pryme 54.6% WI / 40.95% NRI)

In addition to its 40% working interest (30% net revenue interest) in the Turner Bayou project, Pryme

has the opportunity to fund an additional 14.6% working interest (10.95% net revenue interest) of

non-consenting interest in the Rosewood Plantation 21H well. In accordance with the terms of the

Turner Bayou joint operating agreement, Pryme will receive 100% of net revenues attributable to the

non-consenting interest until it has recovered 300% of the costs of drilling, completing and bringing

the well into production attributable to that interest. Following this, Pryme’s participating interest in

the well will revert to its 40% working interest.

Completion changes and Engineering

Following mechanical problems which were encountered in the completion of both the Deshotels 20H

and 13H wells and prevented them from realising their oil production potential, Pryme engaged an

experienced engineering team to evaluate the past drilling and completion performance of the wells

and determine a lower risk approach to the continuing development of the Turner Bayou project. As

a result, a simpler and well-proven approach to completion of future wells has been adopted. This

includes running a slotted or perforated liner in the horizontal section of the well, not cementing it in

place and avoiding the need to perforate the liner.

“These changes, as well as the application of improved drilling technology to keep the lateral portion

of the well within the target zone, should greatly increase oil recovery and reduce technical risk.” Said

Ryan Messer, Pryme’s Executive Director & COO.

About the Turner Bayou Chalk Project

Pryme has a 40% working interest in 25,791 acres (10,316 net acres) in the Turner Bayou Project

and is initially targeting development of the Austin Chalk horizon. Up to 30 gross Austin Chalk well

locations are possible within the project area based on a 640 acre well spacing.

Wells to test the Austin Chalk formation within Turner Bayou are located using Pryme’s proprietary

3D seismic data, drilled to approximately 15,000 feet vertical depth and then horizontally for a further

4,000 to 6,000 feet targeting major phase oil. Naturally occurring fracture systems within the chalk

act as the reservoir and typically do not require stimulation. Pryme has drilled two Austin Chalk wells

within Turner Bayou (Pryme 40% WI) to date. The second well, the Deshotels 13H, returned an

initial potential rate of 1,167bpd of oil and 600Mcf/d of natural gas despite a sub optimal completion

method and resulting mechanical issues.

In addition to the Austin Chalk potential of the Turner Bayou project area, exploration drilling within

Pryme’s Turner Bayou leases has intersected the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) which is the

equivalent of the prolific Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. Several exploration and production

companies operating in proximity to Turner Bayou have achieved encouraging results from tests of

the TMS. The Company will continue to monitor this activity and update the market as appropriate.

Read more: - Drilling to begin begin again in southeastern ...

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Replies to This Discussion

Go news for the Parish, hope they get closer to Fifth Ward, we have land leased with Halcon. 

Sounds good.  If successful, maybe Anadarko will get interested again.  Maybe Anadarko will learn from their mistakes and take Pryme's lead as good advice.


While Pryme has done everything right so far I still have a problem with their completion strategy. If you read their press releases closely they are not planning any enhancement to the well after drilling. I feel that is a major mistake. They should do a 1000+ bbl acid wash followed by a 100 thousand to million lb. gravel/sand pack. The first would open the fractures and the second would hold them open. Just my opinion.  

Thought you would chime in.  Always good advice.  Thanks.


I am no engineer and haven't read up on the frack process in the chalk as much as you have but when you say gravel I am asuming that this is shards of rock that would be just a bit larger than a sand peble. I can remember reading something years back about the sand in the deserts of the mid-east being to round and not good for frack sand. I can see where the acid wash would maybe harden the cracks but how do they get the sand and gravel into the formation without damaging the formation? Could you please post a link as to how this is done.


I'm including a link to a post by Charles Hager a Pet. Engr. He explains the acidazition process on limestone and chalk formations by including papers by other researchers.

As you can see the use of acid to enhance production has been around since 1895. Yet the industry has not acquired an understanding of the process until recently and the industry still seems slow to being it into wider use.

I'll get the information about gravel/sand pack in the next day or so. I'll have to go pull my Pet. Engr. Manuals and find that info. 

But basically it is a mini-frack and is handled that way. It has been around since the 50's and was originally done by Dowel. That was or is a subsidiary of DOW. As I understand it they developed the fluids and techniques to enhance the flow in limestone/chalk formations long before the fracking of shale began. 

I had an old friend that had been the field super for the Hunt Brothers in the Yazoo, MS field. He could not believe that the companies were drilling through Austin Chalk to TUSC. and not trying to produce it. We brain stormed the possibility of using some of these techniques that he had used to produce the Chalk. That was in the late 70's/early 80's.

There are companies that specialize in the acidazation and gravel/sand packing in chalk/limestone formations. And why they are not being used in this trend is beyond me. 


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