Concepts of Scale: Horizontal Development of Wolfcamp Shale Oil of the Southern Midland Basin
¹Lone Star Production
Successful development of Wolfcamp shale oil relies on complex inter-relationships within and between a wide variety of scientific disciplines, financial entities, and company partnerships. The issues and nuances within any sub-category alone could fill a book. But many broad considerations can be highlighted in the exploration and development of Wolfcamp shale oil by examining "Concepts of Scale". An English teacher might describe "Concepts of Scale" as a recurring thematic element. And if the view is sufficiently twisted with respect to all of the following observations, scale always has some role in the process.
This presentation is split into 2 parts; but still has no chance to thoroughly explore any particular aspect. No matter. The following observations are an eclectic grouping; just a sampling of unrelated issues. Just look for those "Concepts of Scale" in very diverse ways; and in very diverse corners of our industry.
The first part of this presentation focuses on the scientific disciplines; grouped as geosciences and engineering. Geoscience observations include depositional fabrics, gas show variations, and comparative numbers of lateral landing zones ("benches"). Engineering observations include variations in frac stage designs (trends in numbers of stages, numbers of clusters, amounts of fluid and proppant), contrasting reservoir responses to frac stimulation from micro-seismic evaluation; and counter-intuitive goals for stimulated reservoir volumes.
The second part of this presentation focuses on the business disciplines; grouped as land, development capital, and company partnerships. Land observations include the geographical and mineral ownership complexities of potential lease configurations. Development capital observations emphasize the rapidly changing aspects of quantity and timing. Company partnership observations encompass working interest sharing, data sharing, and the potential optimal strategies involved.
Hopefully this will encourage companies/asset teams to step back from their projects, evaluate strategy and available resources, and re-examine work flows and communication processes. Maybe even glimpse a forest not seen before.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90190©AAPG Southwest Section Annual Convention, Midland, Texas, May 11-14, 2014