On Feb. 29, Devon permitted the Weherhaeuser 14H in St. Helena Parish.  Surface location is in Section 14, T1S-R4E and bottom hole is in Section 58 of 1S-4E.  It appears that the lateral is planned for about 6,500' which, I believe, would be Devon's longest lateral to date.  This well is about one mile SE of Encana's Weyerhaeuser 73 well.  It appears they like the area!

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03/26/2012 05 2870 DROVE 20" TO 333'; SPUD 3/24/12; DRLG;

I would hope they would start shooting for some decent laterals. Encana, while they have had their problems, has given a much better effort at getting longer laterals. I personally would be a little embarassed if I was Devon. They have seen what Encana has done though, and feel the pressure.

This is the deepest shale play to date, and will be capable of getting the longest laterals of any. 12-15 thousand foot laterals should be in the near future for the play. Grab your nuts and get it boys.

Lateral length is not related to depth.  It is related to the size and shape of a unit that an operator can get a state to approve.  Although longer laterals can equate to higher production rates they also increase the risk of mechanical problems.  Not to mention making for some extremely expensive wells.  Devon is among the most experienced horizontal operators.  Equal in experience and expertise to EnCana.

Skip- I was not referring to unit boundary restrictions, just the mechanical aspects of the wellbore.  

True Vertical Depth has everything to do with the mechanical limit of lateral length. The more weight you have pulling down, then the more weight you have available to push out sideways. There are other factors, but the depth of this play should make this one capable of drilling the longest laterals to date.

I agree with you that longer laterals have an increased risk of mechanical problems. However, with how expensive it is to get to the bottom of the curve, costs per stage can be greatly reduced by getting more lateral. This could greatly affect the economics of the wells. The idea is to get perhaps twice the lateral (twice the production as well) for only 25-50% additional cost of the shorter lateral. Fracking costs would be relatively the same amount as doing two laterals (slightly cheaper due to logistic costs) but you will save alot of money by not drilling two wells. I guess what i'm saying is that once you get into the lateral, the footage is cheap so get all you can.


This ties into another post I made a while back about unit size.  Obviously, everyone wants this play to turn out economical. the larger unit will help this by allowing longer laterals that are cheaper to drill per foot of lateral. As long as they are doing the landowners justice and effectively drilling the unit from end to end.

Andy, the LA LOC doesn't appear to have a problem with geographic units of two sections stacked north-south.  That precedent has been set.  I'm much less familiar with geologic units common in S LA.  The TMS units to date are kind of a hybrid.  I don't attend Commissioner's Hearings so I can't guess at how a unit allowing a lateral greater than 10,000' would be received.  I agree on the economics but at some point land/mineral owners will get up in arms regarding perceptions of dilution.  Are TMS TVD's  much greater than 13,500' common?

15-16,000' as you approach the lower cretaceous shelf margin. Most of the activity has been in the shallower areas of the play, but alot of it falls over 13,500'. I understand that land owners will feel they are getting diluted, but its not warranted. With a 330' (i think) unit hardline in louisiana alot more of a 640 acre units gets undrilled than in a single larger unit of 2 sections stacked north-south. The stacked sections allow you to complete in what would be two 330' hardline areas of individual 640 acre units.

I believe it's only a 100' hardline in Mississippi.

We have some Haynesville Shale TVD's deeper than 13,500' but not by much as far as I recall.  I'm only familiar with the wells in the shallower areas of the TMS play.  And then only in areas where I have performed work for clients.  EnCana and SWEPI have received approval for "cross unit laterals" in the Haynesville.  In those cases as far as I know the mineral owners gave their approval and supported the application.  Some operators have discussed the possibility of down-spacing to 40 acres which would tend to support the theory that some shale is not produced under current spacing and set back requirements.  Those topics may not surface again until the Play picks back up.

I am familiar with the cross unit laterals, but doesn't that require 100% approval from mineral owners? Or is it that you are required to have 100% of the leasehold?

I've never seen regs governing such a unit.  I don't think there are any.  The commission just approves them absent any formal opposition. Some GHS members indicated in past discussions that they were included in the units and asked questions that seem to indicate that they were never asked for permission.

There are mixed interests concerning the long laterals that ultimately need to be considered in this play...if it is successful.


I understand the Mississippi and Louisiana regulatory boards allowing the long laterals while everything is experimental, but suppose a 10,000 foot lateral with 20 fracs makes 75%  more oil than a 5,000 foot lateral with 10 fracs?


Longer fracs, assuming this lower production lasts the lifetime of the well, costs the mineral owners and, thus, make no sense to them.

Yet, the longer fracs, because of the lower costs to produce, may make perfect sense to the operating companies. 

At some point there will be enough information to determine if longer laterals make sense for everyone.  If the play is a success, this discussion may be an interesting one to hold before these state oil/gas boards in a couple of years.


04/02/2012 05 5798 DRLD; RAN 13 3/8" CSG TO 3500' W/ 3510 SXS; NU & TSTD BOP'S 3/30/12; TSTD CSG; DRLG; (BOP INFO: ANNULAR, SCHAFFER, 1, 13 5/8", 5000; RAMS, CAMERON, 3, 10000);
03/26/2012 05 2870 DROVE 20" TO 333'; SPUD 3/24/12; DRLG;


04/09/2012 05 11902 DRLG;


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