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Horizontal Drilling in the Texas Panhandle

S. Ritter
G.S.M. Inc., Amarillo, TX (

The first known horizontal well drilled in the Texas Panhandle was the Enerex Supply Quinn #14, which was drilled in 1990. Since that time, over 160 leases are reported by IHS energy group to contain horizontal wells. Most have been in the West Panhandle Gas Field (Permian), with other horizontal wells reportedly being drilled in the Des Moines, GraniteWash, St. Louis/Kinderhook, Cleveland, and in the deeper basin Permian Formation. Horizontal drilling of oil reservoirs in the Texas Panhandle have had limited overall success to date. The oil reservoirs drilled to date include the Panhandle Oil Field Granite Wash and Brown Dolomite reservoirs, and the Des Moines (Marmaton) reservoir. Horizontally drilled gas wells have encountered more success by increasing flow rates and/or staying above water contacts.

Horizontal wells in the Panhandle Field have been completed with both single and multiple horizontal legs, many have been re-entries of existing wellbores. Some have been been commingled with the production from the vertical wellbore. Deliverability is increased in most cases, with a wide range of variability in the increase from the original. Gas wells off-structure of the Amarillo Mountain Uplift have been drilled horizontally in the Permian Group in an apparent effort to stay above water and increase flow rates. A few wells have been drilled in deeper reservoirs, but there is presently no on-going program of horizontal drilling in the deeper horizons. It appears that there has been only limited success in drilling deeper zones horizontally in the deeper basin to date.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90903©2001 AAPG Mid-Continent Meeting, Amarillo, Texas