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May, 2015

Newspaper Column - 05-17-2015

Posted by bernell on May 17, 2015

As many of you are aware I write a newspaper column dealing with the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play that appears in the Woodville Republican and McComb Enterprise-Journal.

The column consists of information on the TMS and whatever ramblings I happen to have for the week.  Though there is crossover from what appears here, I try to make the column unique.  I think I've mentioned the column in the past, but I'm not certain. I know that something I posted on here appeared once in one of the newspapers.

Other than those possible duplications I have tried to keep the writings separate and apart.

Today I'm making an exception to my own rule since I think the newspaper column speaks just as directly to questions I've had on here as it does from readers of the newspapers.

By the way, the newspapers have the right to edit my column, so what appears below is the column as submitted by me and not necessarily as how it appears in print.


On December 15, 2013 Encana spud the Lawson 25H-1 well using Trinidad Rig #124.  This was the first rig spud in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale for a few months.  On May 15, 2015, according to local reports, the Trinidad Rig #125 is making its move after completion of drilling the Bloomer #2H.  To my knowledge there are no other rigs operating in the TMS for the present, ending a 17 month period where as many as 10 rigs were at work at one point in time.

Rumors for some time have been that Sanchez would be drilling 2-4 wells in the Macedonia unit after the Bloomer was finished, but the Trinidad rig apparently won’t be used.  In fact, other rumors are that the Trinidad rigs mentioned above may be retired and the crews working on these rigs transferred to more modern rigs.  These rumors go on to add that these modern rigs then may be assigned to the TMS at some point later this year by Encana.  I’m certainly hoping all this is true since these crews are familiar with issues here and can hit the ground running more quickly than new crews might.

Despite the current absence of a drilling rig, we still have an inventory of 10 wells ready to be fracked.  As mentioned, Sanchez now has the Bloomer ready.  Goodrich Petroleum has 6 wells ready: Washington Parish-Painter Etal 5H-1 and W Alford 10H-1; Tangipahoa Parish- Kinchen 58H-1 and B-Nez 43H-1 and -2; Amite County- T. Lewis 7-38H-1. Halcon Resources also has 3 wells ready: Wilkinson County: Creek Cottage West 1H; Rogers 1H; Tangipahoa Parish- Franklin PST Prop H-1.

Based on past practices Sanchez will schedule fracking the Bloomer pretty quickly.  Goodrich has announced its intention to begin fracking its wells in June. I have not heard when Halcon might begin fracking.

Early results from Sanchez Morris 2H, located just west of Woodville in Wilkinson County, wasn’t good: 2,216 barrels of oil produced in the first 20 days from a 5,100 foot lateral.  However, the explanation given during the 1st quarter report by Sanchez management was that the hole wasn’t properly cleaned out prior to commencement of flow back. Plans are to allow the pressure from the hole to bleed down naturally before coming back in with a work over rig to properly clean it.  The expectation is it will be the latter part of 2015 before pressure will reduce enough to allow for a work over rig.

Since oil prices are still depressed, choking back the production from this well, whether intentionally or not, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  If I were a mineral/royalty owner, I’d be hoping the work over rig showed up simultaneously with $100+ oil prices.  This story could certainly have a happy ending to it.

As to other older wells, I am frequently asked to provide an update on various specific ones.  I would love to do that, but there simply isn’t enough room for me to do so in this column.  Once I have provided the initial results from a well, unless there is something unusual to occur, I haven’t reported on the well again.

To demonstrate my point I thought I’d give y’all a general update on oil production here in the TMS to help you better understand why specific wells aren’t reported.

If my figures are accurate, as of March, 2015 there are 65 TMS wells located east of the Mississippi River that are listed as active producers, though 3 wells showed little or no production.  By company: Encana -28; Goodrich -27; Halcon -6; Sanchez -3; Comstock -1.  By county/parish: Amite County -31; Wilkinson -18; Tangipahoa Parish -6; St. Helena-5; East Feliciana -3; West Feliciana -2.  That’s 49 Mississippi wells and 16 Louisiana wells.

Production from these wells for March, 2015 totaled 406,645 barrels of oil and an average of 13,117 barrels of oil per day.

By county/parish: Amite -254,774; Wilkinson -99,509; Tangipahoa -35,974; St. Helena -5,757; East Feliciana -5,624; West Feliciana -5,007.  That’s 354,283 barrels of oil from Mississippi and 52,362 from Louisiana.

The top producer for March was Encana Mathis 29-17H-1 with 34,715 barrels of oil followed closely by Encana Longleaf 29H-2 with 32,088 barrels.  Both wells are in Amite County.  Mathis began producing in February and Longleaf in March.

Though there are no rigs operating here now, I’m confident it’s not over.  And, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that 65 producers is only the beginning.

Stay Tuned!

What do you think about it?