EOG details its best ever Bakken well

By Luke Geiver | November 10, 2015

EOG Resources commitment to well completion and drilling optimization is paying off in a record breaking way. During its third quarter update, Bill Thomas, chairman and CEO of the independent oil and gas producer, explained how the company has drilled and completed the best Bakken well in the history of the play. Using its high-intensity design, EOG drilled and completed a well—Riverview #102-32H—in its Antelope field area that produced 200,000 barrels of oil in its first 91 days for an average daily production total of roughly 2,200 bopd.

Although the well is still on confidential status, Thomas said the well’s results are “definitely repeatable.” The horizontal was drilled at only 4,600 feet, only half of the typical length for most Williston Basin wells.

The process used is similar to that of EOG’s Eagle Ford approach to completing wells. Instead of the 540 fracture events per 1,000 foot of lateral EOG accomplished in 2010 wells, its 2015 wells are completed with 4,030 fracture events per 1,000 feet. According to Thomas, the new approach generates 8 to 10 times the number of fractures within 1,000 feet when compared to the old method. Containing fracture events closer to the wellbore is crucial for EOG. It now works to keep fractures within 200 to 300 feet of the well bore. “It allows us to downspace and drill wells closer and closer together,” he said. In addition to wellbore proximity for fractures, the drilling teams are working to keep the bit within a 20 to 30 foot window instead of the traditionally accepted 100 to 150 foot drilling window.

The use of fluid diverting agents is also a key to its high-density design, Thomas said. EOG uses in-house data and information for all drilling and completion designs.

EOG’s version of the high-intensity fracture has helped it to add to its estimated ultimate recovery oil levels in the Bakken and in Texas. Earlier this year, EOG updated its Bakken and Three Forks net resource potential estimates to just over 1 billion boe. In the Delaware Basin of Texas, EOG just upped its resource potential estimates to 1 billion boe as well.

Regardless of its breakthroughs in high-intensity fracks—a process Thomas said the industry has not caught up to yet—EOG will only seek to keep production flat in 2016. “We are going to be very disciplined next year and spend within cash flow. I believe it will take $60 oil to get the U.S. back in growth mode,” Thomas said.

This year’s resource updates show that EOG is gaining resources faster than it can drill them. In the Bakken, EOG is generating a rate of return (ROR) of 40 percent at $50 oil. By year’s end, EOG will have more than 300 wells drilled but uncompleted spread amongst its acreage positions in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and other areas. The new completion approach will be used on all new wells and in the Bakken, that could mean EOG’s acreage outside of the core or depleted areas could see a major upside, Thomas said.

EOG has not released an official budget or plan for 2016 other than saying it is set-up for a strong start to the year and it will remain operating within cash flow.