Completion trends in the Midcontinent’s Anadarko Basin reflect the dip in domestic drilling during the second quarter: wells completed were down 21% sequentially, according to Hart Energy’s Heard In The Field survey.
However, it is a complex narrative with multiple storylines. Some storylines are obvious, like the continuing decline in Mississippian Lime targets north and east of Oklahoma City.
The drop for Mississippian targets is primarily characterized by a 75% activity decline in Woods County, Okla. The activity decrease is offset in part by the growing emphasis in the Stack Play, which is also Mississippian in age.
Overall, Mississippian targets were off 36% among wells completed during the second quarter. Yet, Stack Play completions in Kingfisher County were still up sequentially and now represent 53% of Mississippian-era wells completed.
Activity in the Stack was consistent consecutively in the first half of 2016. The bifurcation in operator interest also extends further west to the Granite Wash, according to the survey.
In general, Anadarko Basin Granite Wash wells turned in-line fell 14%. However, activity actually rose 54% in the liquids-rich Pennsylvanian-aged Cleveland and Tonkawa sands, mostly in Ellis County, Okla., and Lipscomb County, Texas.
Elsewhere, the rate of wells completed fell 8% for Devonian-era targets such as the Woodford Shale in the Scoop. The drop was offset partially by an increase in commingled Woodford and Meramec targets, primarily in Blaine County, Okla., as operators explore completion methods in a stacked-play environment.
For the most part, Midcontinent operators remain focused on a common completions recipe: slickwater frack via plug and perf configuration with about 300,000 pounds of sand per stage, or roughly 10 million pounds of sand per lateral.
Stage spacing was consistent during the first half of 2016 at 225-foot intervals and three or four perforation clusters. Zipper fracks, or batch completions, also remained unchanged during the first half of the year at roughly 46% of completions.
A few operators are using gel and resin-coated sand and coiled tubing conveyed fracture stimulation with deeper, hotter targets also employing some gel and specialized proppant.
Discussion on refracks has waned pending an increase in commodity pricing with well rejuvenation at less than 4% of completions, survey respondents said.
Part I. – Survey Findings
Among Survey Participants:
- Slickwater Completions Most Common
[See Question 1 on Statistical Review]
All eight respondents reported that slickwater remains the most common practice in the region, though two consultants use gel with high volume sand on deeper and hotter wells.
- Mid-Tier Operator: “Most all operators are focused on less expensive slickwater jobs. In deeper and hotter wells, we do use some gel and resin-coated sand.”
- No Changes Expected In Near-Term
[See Question 2 on Statistical Review]
All respondents expect few or no changes in the near term. Sand types and methods are reportedly staying the same on horizontal wells in the Midcon. There were two mentions of some linear gel to make higher sand volumes possible and some resin sand use as well.
- Mid-Tier Service Provider: “Most of the region remains unchanged with slickwater high volume sand fracks.”
- Spacing Between Frack Stages Averages 225-Feet
[See Questions 3a and 3b on Statistical Review]
Spacing ranges between 200 feet to 250 feet in the play and averages about 225 feet. All eight respondents have kept spacing about the same this year. Most reported spacing 200 feet to 250 feet with three to four perf sets per stage for an average four sets per stage.
- Mid-Tier Operator: “We average 40 stages with 300,000 pounds of sand per stage.”
- Plug And Perf Most Common Fracking Technique
[See Question 4 on Statistical Review]
All eight respondents reported that plug and perf completions are the standard fracking technique in the Midcontinent region now. One respondent reported using sliding sleeves with specific clients who prefer coil fracks.
- Mid-Tier Service Provider: “The plug and perf slickwater frack remains most common. There are a few operators who still prefer coil fracks with sliding sleeve, but they are a small niche group.”
- Refrack Still is a Small Percentage of Overall Frack Work
[See Question 5a and 5b on Statistical Review]
Respondents reported that the actual implementation of refrack is limited and that most of the frack work done in the area is on new wells. Respondents named Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) as the service provider doing the largest volume of refrack and remedial stimulation in the play.
- Mid-Tier Operator: “Halliburton has maintained top market share in both new wells and remediation. I don’t see anyone spending on refrack at this time.”
- Multiwell Pads Average: ~4 Wells Per Pad
[See Question 6 on Statistical Review]
The average number of wells reported per pad is about four. Responses ranged from four to six wells per pad in the region, which is similar to findings in the April report.
- Mid-Tier Operator: “Four wells per pad is most common. We may see that grow as prices recover and we start striving for efficiency again.”
- Zipper Fracks Account For 46% Of Completions; Remainder Solo Fracks
[See Question 7 on Statistical Review]
The percentage of zipper frack completions reported among respondents is 46%, up slightly from the 44% reported in April. The remaining 54% of wells are fracked using the solo frack method on one well at a time. Expectations are increasing for the use of zipper fracks as delayed completions diminish with rising demand.
- Top-Tier Operator: “As [oil] prices rise we will see more zipper fracks. It saves about 10% to 15% on multiwell fracks.”
- Sand Remains Most Common Proppant
[See Question 8a and 8b on Statistical Review]
Natural sand is reported as the most common proppant in the region and averages about 10 million pounds per well, up somewhat from the 8 million pounds per well reported in April. A total of 94% of proppant used in the Midcontinent is natural sand. The remaining 6% is resin-coated sand used to supplement natural sand in deeper high-pressure wells
- Three To Four Perf Sets Per Stage Most Common
[See Question 9a and 9b on Statistical Review]
All eight respondents reported three to four perf sets per stage are common with enhanced horizontal completions methods with little expectation of change. The range of perf sets has remained between three and four sets per stage for the past six months.
End Survey Findings
H A R T E N E R G Y researchers completed interviews with eight industry participants in the downhole completions segment in the Midcontinent region. Participants include seven sales professionals with fracking service companies and one representative for an E&P company. Interviews were conducted during mid to late-June 2016.
Part II. – Statistical Review
Total Respondents = 8
[Fracking service providers = 7, Operators = 1]
1. What common practices are used in your area for completions?
*Two respondents using linear gel to facilitate larger sand volumes with some clients, but still report slickwater as most common.
2. Do you see that changing over the next three to six months?
No changes expected:
3a. Is spacing between stages closer now than a year ago?
3b. What is the average distance between frack stages in your area?
200-foot to 225-foot spacing:
226-foot to 250-foot spacing:
4. What fracking technique is most common in your area?
Plug and perf:
*One respondent reports a few clients who still do sliding sleeve coil fracks while acknowledging that plug and perf is most common.
5a. Looking at the number of total frack jobs in your area, what percentage are new fracks and what percentage are refracks?
New wells average:
5b. Which fracking company in your area is doing the most new frack work?
5c. What company is doing the most refracks in your area?
6. What is the average number of wells being completed per pad in your area?
~4 wells per pad
7. What percentage of fracks drilled from pads are zipper fracks vs. individual fracks?
8a. How much proppant (in pounds) are you using per well?
6-10 million pounds:
11-15 million pounds:
Average per well:
~10 million pounds
8b. On a percentage basis, how much proppant in your area is used by type?
Average Among Respondents
Natural sand only:
9a. How many perf clusters are typical between stages?
9b. Is that more or less than six months ago?