Regional Report
Midland Basin
Midland Basin: Many opportunities across 75,000 sq miles
The region of the eastern Permian Basin has seen a steady amount of new E&P activity since 2011.
Larry Prado, Activity Editor

he Midland Basin region of the eastern Permian Basin has seen a steady amount of new E&P since 2011.

The Midland Basin underlies an area approximately 250 miles wide and 300 miles long, and it includes the West Texas counties of Borden, Dawson, Martin, Midland, Upton, Reagan, Glasscock and portions of Andrews, Crane, Gaines, Ector, Terry, Lynn Howard and Irion counties.

The Midland Basin is bounded to the east by the Eastern Shelf through a series of north-south trending fault segments, to the north by the Northwest Shelf and to the west by uplifted areas of the Central Basin Platform. Southward, Midland Basin formations thin out into the Ozona Arch, an extension of the Central Basin Platform, which separates the Delaware and Midland basins.

One of the main drivers for exploration is its stacked potential with multiple benches. The primary and most productive benches for the Wolfcamp play are Upper (A), Middle (B), and Lower (C, D) and other producing formations include San Andres, Spraberry, Dean, Atoka and Strawn. The four benches of the Wolfcamp Formation each display different geologic characteristics.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey estimates, the undiscovered continuous hydrocarbon resources of the Wolfcamp Formation in the Midland Basin exceed 19 Bbbl of oil, 15 Tcf of gas and 1.5 Bbbl of NGL, making it one of the largest hydrocarbon plays in the U.S.

Spraberry and Dean sandstones have produced oil throughout the Midland Basin since the late 1940s. Known as the Spraberry Trend, productive areas extend across 18 counties and contain more than 10 Bbbl of oil.

Operators have been including deeper formations in their Spraberry trend completions—first the Wolfcamp (Permian) that underlies the Dean and then deeper zones in the Pennsylvanian (Wolfberry play).

Multiple fracture-stimulation stages open up low permeability formations to production over an interval between 6,000 ft and 10,000 ft. More than 5,800 Wolfberry oil wells have been completed since the late 1990s. IP averages 30 to 125 bbl/d, and ultimate per-well recovery is estimated at 100 MMboe to 140 MMboe.

One of the most active operators in the basin is Pioneer Natural Resources. According to President and CEO Scott Sheffield, the company placed 85 horizontal wells on production during the first quarter of 2020. Sheffield also said it will continue to evaluate drilling and completion activity on an economic and coronavirus-safe basis, with activity levels assessed monthly.

Midland Basin Region, Producing Formations and Counties
Midland Basin Map
(Source: Larry Prado/Hart Energy)
Selected Midland Basin completions
Dawson County — Reliance Energy Inc. completed a horizontal Spraberry Trend producer at #1H Caballo Azul 28-33 that was tested on-pump for 519 bbl of 36.9°API crude, 276,000 cf of gas and 3,935 bbl of water per day from acid- and fracture-stimulated Spraberry.

Smith Energy Operating Co. completed a CMI Field-Spraberry producer at #1 Wheelis 14 pumping 152 bbl of 36-degree-gravity oil and 35 Mcf of gas per day. In 2017 Smith completed its first well in the reservoir at #1 Alexander 13 that produced 313 bbl of oil and 194 Mcf of gas per day during its first five months online.

Borden County — A horizontal Spraberry Trend well was completed by Koch Exploration. The #1H Elise 39-46 pumped 223 bbl of 38-degree-gravity oil, 110 Mcf of gas and 2.284 Mbbl of water per day from Wolfcamp. The #1H Zagato 42-43 pumped 343 bbl of 37-degree-gravity oil, 153 Mcf of gas and 3.03 Mbbl of water daily from fracture-stimulated Pennsylvanian perforations.

Surge Operating completed two Spraberry Field-Wolfcamp wells: #6AH Jotunn Unit B 25-13 produced 960 bbl of oil with 447,000 cf/d of gas and the offsetting #7AH Jotunn Unit B 25-13 flowed 1,080 bbl of oil and 446,000 cf of gas per day.

Andrews County — Ring Energy Inc. completed a horizontal San Andres well, #1H Caesar, that flowed 506 boe/d.

Pacesetter Energy LLC has completed two San Andres producers. The #1H University Frodo was tested on-pump for 701 bbl of 31-degree-gravity crude, 210 Mcf of gas and 2.242 Mbbl of water per day. In Shafter Lake Field, #1H University Samwise flowed 234 bbl of 31-degree-gravity oil, 65 Mcf of gas and 2.677 Mbbl of water per day.

Howard County — Occidental Petroleum Co. announced results from two more completions in Spraberry Field. The #1H Santana 2432D produced 1,727 bbl of 37°API oil, 1.278 MMcf of gas with 1,329 bbl of water per day from commingled Spraberry/Dean. The #1H Santana 2442WA was tested flowing 1,222 bbl of 38°API oil, 1.162 MMcf of gas and 1,396 bbl of water per day from Wolfcamp.

Crownquest Operating completed a Wolfcamp producer, #2HB WR Vitex, in Spraberry Field that flowed 1.475 Mbbl of 39-degree-gravity oil, with 1.43 MMcf of gas and 2.076 Mbbl of water per day.

Ector County — Two more horizontal San Andres producers have been completed by Raptor Petroleum Development. The Jordan Field discoveries are #281H Connell, tested on-pump for 347 bbl of 33-degree-gravity crude, 109,000 cf of gas and 3.155 bbl of water per day and, #291H Connell, which pumped 121 bbl of 28-degree-gravity oil and 3,829 bbl of water daily.

Founders Oil & Gas has completed a vertical Ellenburger well at #1 Connell Section 10. The Jordan Field well pumped 59 bbl of 44°API crude and 3,925 bbl of water per day.

Midland Basin Stratigraphy
Midland Basin Stratigraphy Table
(Source: EIA 2018; compiled by Larry Prado and Peggy Williams/Hart Energy)
Midland County — ­A Spraberry Field-Spraberry producer by Pioneer Natural Resources Inc., #112H Baumann E16K, initially produced 1,244 bbl of 40.7°API oil, with 948,000 cf of gas and 369 bbl of water daily.

A Crownquest Operating discovery at #1 Teriyaki 20 flowed 120 bbl of oil, 355,000 cf of gas from commingles perforations in Dean, Strawn, Atoka and Mississippian and Devonian zones.

Summit Petroleum completed two Spraberry Field wells. The #12LS Carmanita produced 1.028 bbl of oil and 664,000 cf of gas from commingled Spraberry and Dean. Within 1 mile to the southwest, #08WB Carmanita initially flowed 1,475 bbl of oil and 1.27 MMcf of gas from Wolfcamp.

Glasscock County — Parsley Energy Operations LLC completed two Spraberry Field-Wolfcamp discoveries. The #4303H Julia 45-4-B was tested flowing 1,166 bbl of 42°API oil, 1.263 MMcf of gas and 3,716 bbl of water per day, and #4203H Julia 45-4-B flowed 1,749 bbl/d of 42°API oil.

Two Spraberry Field-Wolfcamp wells were reported by COG Operating LLC. The wells were drilled from a pad: #9AH Calverley 37-36 flowed 816 bbl of 44°API oil and 830,000 cf of gas per day, and #10BH Calverley 37-36 produced 882 bbl of oil and 1.042 MM cf of gas per day.

Upton County — Pioneer Natural Resources Inc. announced results from a Spraberry Field discovery at #103H Brook N-13F, which initially flowed 1,501 bbl of 42°API oil, 1.541 MMcf of gas and 4,482 bbl of water daily from Wolfcamp.

COG Operating LLC completed a Spraberry Field-Wolfcamp well at #6704BH Amacker 67B. The venture initially flowed 1,502 bbl of 42°API oil, with 1.393 MMcf of gas and 2,147 bbl of water per day.

Reagan County — A Spraberry Field-Wolfcamp discovery was reported by Laredo Petroleum Inc. The #7SM SUGG B 111-110 (Allocation-G) initially flowed 744 bbl of 42°API oil, 12.313 MMcf of gas and 1,086 bbl of water daily.

Sable Permian Resources completed three Wolfcamp C-Midland Basin wells from a drillpad in Lin Field. The #03HK Section 235-220 Allocation 01 produced 3.251 Mbbl of oil, 2.502 MMcf of gas and 3.167 Mbbl of water per day; #08HK Section 235-220 Allocation 04 flowed 2.76 Mbbl of oil, 1.795 MMcf of gas and 3.235 Mbbl of water per day; and #13H Section 235-220 Allocation 08 produced 2.753 Mbbl of oil with 2.166 MMcf of gas and 3.234 Mbbl of water per day.