2019 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition:

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The Evolution of the Delaware North West Shelf


While the Delaware Basin covers 10,000 square miles, the emerging portion of the play is focused heavily on Wolfcamp D, Yeso and 2nd and 3rd Bone Springs, which are predominantly in Eddy and Lea Counties, New Mexico. While inventory is being heavily delineated across the Texas side of the border, in New Mexico there is high prospectivity at 2016 level pricing. We firmly believe that in certain parts of New Mexico the rock quality is on par or better than that found in Texas. While the Texas portion of the basin has seen profound activity and a significant increase in acreage pricing, pricing-out many new entrants, the New Mexico portion of the basin provides numerous opportunities, with a lower barrier to entry. Eddy and Lea Counties contain some of the best rock in the Delaware Basin. Submarine canyons provide siliciclastic input from the stable shelf into the basin, contributing to the thickness and reservoir quality of Bone Springs. Wolfcamp, persistent throughout the basin, is an organically rich shale, contributing to regional production. Producing units include Bon Springs 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and Wolfcamp A, B and D, as well as Yeso. In certain cases these units are over a thousand feet thick, are at shallower depths than the same units deeper toward the basin center in Texas. The thick formations, non-complex structure and overpressured reservoirs contribute to the economic success of Delaware in New Mexico, catapulting the state up to 3rd place among oil producing states in the United States. This presentation focuses on the structural and stratigraphic nature of the North West Shelf of the Delaware Basin, relating that to the performance (rate and capital) in New Mexico. It will highlight the extension of Bone Springs from Texas and persistence of Wolfcamp A. It will also highlight the activity in Wolfcamp D and the emerging horizontal Yeso shelf trend, an upside to many operators producing from this stacked pay system. Several operators in the region are utilizing geologic knowledge and advanced completion techniques to create phenomenal results. The presentation will therefore also highlight the evolution of said completion techniques and provide a full landing zone analysis of the producing formations and how operators are performing based on where they land their wells.