Permian Basin dominates drilling permit filings in new year
The Permian Basin of West Texas is beginning the new year on a strong note.
Nearly three-fourths of the 245 drilling permits filed with the Railroad Commission during the first week of 2019 were from the prolific West Texas shale play.
Of the 48 exploration and production companies that applied for those drilling permits, Pioneer Natural Resources of Irving led with 19 applications for projects targeting the Spraberry field in Irion, Martin and Upton counties.
Following Pioneer were XTO Energy, an Exxon Mobil subsidiary, with 17 drilling permit filings, Canadian oil company Encana with 12 applications, and Midland exploration and production company Endeavor Energy Resources with 11.
Blessed with several oil and natural gas-rich geological layers, the Permian Basin has become the top shale play in the United States. As part of a phenomenon known in the oil and natural gas industry as “Permania,” nearly half of the active drilling rigs in the U.S. can be found there.
The West Texas shale play finished 2018 producing nearly 3.75 million barrels of crude oil per day, according to the Energy Department.
Not everyone in the Permian Basin is developing oil or natural gas wells. Houston pipeline company Plans All American Pipeline has filed for a trio of drilling projects in Fisher, Howard and Stonewall counties. The company is drilling three cathodic wells, in which corrosion-prevention equipment is placed, to protect a pipeline project in the area.
Eagle Ford Shale
Fort Worth oil company MD America Energy continues to carve out a niche in the eastern end of the Eagle Ford Shale. The company filed a drilling permit application for a horizontal oil well targeting the Madisonville field of the Woodbine geological layer in Madison County at a total depth of 9,200 feet.
The Haynesville is natural gas play dominated by Exxon Mobil and BP, but it is also home to smaller companies. Mt. Enterprise exploration and production company KJ Energy is seeking permission to drill a horizontal gas well targeting the Brachfield SE field of the Cotton Valley geological layer down to a total depth of 10,260 feet.
No drilling permit applications were filed for horizontal drilling projects in the North Texas shale play during the first week of the New Year. Boernebased Guidance Oil Developers was the only company to file a drilling permit for a new well in the region. The company received a drilling permit for a vertical well on its Copeland lease in Young County, where it is targeting the Y-B field of the Gunsight geological layer down to a depth of 1,400 feet.
The Coastal Bend remains popular among conventional oil drillers. Three oil companies plan to drill three vertical wells in the region. Spring-based Forza Operating plans to drill one in Colorado County while Kingwood-based Foundation Oil Co. is planning one in Hardin County. Plano-based Urban Oil & Gas Group is planning to drill one in Matagorda County.
Nearly three-fourths of the 245 drilling permits filed with the Railroad Commission during the first week of 2019 were from West Texas’ prolific Permian Basin.