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Best placement of horizontals in a hypothetical square mile?

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Mich-Pioneer

Best placement of horizontals in a hypothetical square mile?
« on: March 21, 2010, 05:27:34 PM »
This question is about geology, technology, and economics and is NOT about regulations.

Please assume:

(A) single owner owns 1 square mile (640 acres) of impermeable gas shale.
(B) small operator leases JUST this property
(C) there will be a single unidirectional horizontal run from each vertical hole
(D) please remember that in this thread we are ignoring the jurisdiction's regs


QUESTIONS

1.  Is there a reason for the horizontal runs to go in any particular direction instead of just N-S or E-W? 

2.  Is it typical for all the runs to be parallel?

2.  If all the runs were parallel, how close could they be before they start stealing gas from each other, thus lowering each well's profit margin?


Sorry I don't know the vocabulary to ask better questions.  If there are key terms for any of these concepts I'll be happy to read on my own but I still need to know what to search for.

Thanks,
MichGuy

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g592314

  • 2660
Re: Best placement of horizontals in a hypothetical square mile?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 07:12:48 PM »
1 - you're trying to intersect as many natural fractures as possible, so you drill perpendicular to those nat. fracs.

2 - Yes, for all the plats I've seen (or very close)

3 - Differs with different shale; in the Barnett I've heard of just a couple hundred foot spacing - in PA they seem to be starting out at about 1000 - testing will tell  what the optimum is

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bellbucci

Re: Best placement of horizontals in a hypothetical square mile?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 08:14:37 PM »
g592314 covered almost everything -- throughout the Marcellus, the optimal direction varies slightly, but it's generally NNW-SSE.

Spacing is a big question. Range has done 500' and 450' lately. I've heard that Chesapeake's landmen get real quiet when you challenge them on their timid spacing. In fifty years, when all the infrastructure is in place, it likely will be economic for infill spacing on their 1000' centers.

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mohawk70

  • 10592
Re: Best placement of horizontals in a hypothetical square mile?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 08:32:27 PM »
g592314 covered almost everything -- throughout the Marcellus, the optimal direction varies slightly, but it's generally NNW-SSE.

Spacing is a big question. Range has done 500' and 450' lately. I've heard that Chesapeake's landmen get real quiet when you challenge them on their timid spacing. In fifty years, when all the infrastructure is in place, it likely will be economic for infill spacing on their 1000' centers.

It seems like every month, some new improvement in the technology comes out.  

Spacing depends on how much natural gas is trapped in the "pores" of the shale.   And how much of that "trapped" natural gas they are able to extract.

Fracturing can be done many different ways.

What if some nerd comes up with a new way.  Ultrasonic vibrations!  With a "magnet" [static charge?] [Anodic decomposition] and the natural gas comes shooting out toward the sound generator [inaudible loudspeaker].  As long as every dog for a hundred miles doesn't start howling.  

Or, maybe, since we are dealing with hypotheticals ... use alpha waves with very low frequency sound.   As long as our bridges don't collapse.   Tesla had all kinda technology that folks still haven't figured out.   He could cause earthquakes and lightning.   I figure some ten year old will come up with something in his mom's garden potting shed that will revolutionize the industry.   We won't use it here because of fears about the whales or polar bears, but the Russians will adopt it and twenty years later we will reluctantly start using it.

Howard Hughes' father invented a unique drill bit that revolutionized the oil drilling industry.

There are new things being tried all the time.   And their effectiveness may determine the spacing.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 08:38:34 PM by mohawk70 »
Please remember:  The planet Earth is a VOLCANO.   You cannot "save" a volcano ... and volcanoes do not NEED to be saved.

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g592314

  • 2660
Re: Best placement of horizontals in a hypothetical square mile?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 08:49:52 PM »
Ruby, 50 years before infills?  ... does this mean I can't retire yet 8)