Per­mian Basin dom­i­nates drilling per­mit fil­ings in new year

Houston Chronicle - - TEXAS INC - ser­[email protected] twit­­giochapa By Ser­gio Chapa

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.

Per­mian Basin

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.

Hay­nesville Shale

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.

Bar­nett Shale

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.

Staff file photo

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.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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