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Haynesville's Texas IP Rates Compete with Louisiana

Three independents last week separately announced strong initial production (IP) rates from natural gas wells that were drilled horizontally on the Texas side of the Haynesville Shale.

Up to now, most of the highest IP rates that have been publicly reported have come from northwestern Louisiana, which is considered to be the core operating area of the Haynesville play (see NGI, Feb. 16; Dec. 15, 2008). Some purists believe the Haynesville Shale is confined within Louisiana, but for those who think the shale actually spreads across the two states, the East Texas portion of the play may be as formidable.

EnCana Corp. in April reported continued success at its Deep Bossier operations in East Texas, which are focused on the Amoruso field. There, 30-day IP rates averaged more than 19 MMcf/d earlier this year (see NGI, April 27). EnCana said its Charlene #1 well, completed in January, had an IP rate "in excess" of 50 MMcf/d.

Last week three producers appeared to separately confirm that the IP rates in East Texas may be as competitive as some of the wells in northwestern Louisiana.

Penn Virginia Corp. (PVA) reported results from its Steele #2-H well in the Lower Bossier in Harrison County, TX. The well, in which the company holds 100% interest, tested at an IP rate of 11.4 MMcf/d with a flowing casing pressure of 4,600 pounds per square inch (psi). According to PVA, the well had a 4,000-foot lateral and was stimulated with 2.5 million pounds of sand and bauxite in 10 hydraulic fracture stages.

"This well has the highest initial production rate of any Lower Bossier shale well PVA has drilled to date in East Texas," the company said. PVA now is in the process of completing another well in the region using 10 frac stages. In previous Haynesville area tests, PVA had been using two frac stages.

Goodrich also has completed its second operated well in East Texas, the Lutheran Church 5HR, which had an IP rate of 9 MMcf/d on a 26/64 inch choke with 4,375 psi. The well, which was completed with 3,100 feet of lateral length and 10 fracture stages, is located in the company's Beckville/Minden area of Panola County, TX. Goodrich is operator and owns a 100% working interest in the well.

In addition, Gastar Exploration Ltd. reports continuing success from its holdings in the Lower Bossier trend. Gastar said its Wildman Trust #5 test well in one Lower Bossier zone tested at a restricted gross sales rate of 15 MMcf/d with more than 12,000 psi of flowing-casing pressure. The Houston-based producer drilled the well to a total depth of 19,000 feet and said it logged 60 net feet of pay in five Lower Bossier and one Middle Bossier zones. Gastar owns a 66.7% working interest (54.5% net) in the well.

"The Wildman Trust #5 well is completed in only the deepest Lower Bossier zone and the sales rate is being restricted," said Gastar CEO Russell Porter. "The zone currently completed has tested at over 25 MMcf/d and is capable of higher rates."

Gastar said that because of the high rate capable from the zone, it plans to delay more completions on the well and reserve the deliverability available from the behind pipe zones to be produced when gas prices are higher. The Wildman Trust #5 was drilled and completed for about $9.5 million.

Earlier this year Gastar said it completed its best producing well to date in the Deep Bossier play, the Belin #1, which had an IP rate of 41.2 MMcf/d (see NGI, Jan. 12). That well, in which Gastar holds a 52% stake, was on a 20/64th-inch choke with about 10,300 psi of flowing casing pressure. Five of Gastar's Bossier completions in late 2008 had average IP rates of 15 MMcf/d and average gross estimated ultimate recoverable reserves of 8.3 Bcf.

Chesapeake Energy Corp., which is one of the biggest leaseholders of Haynesville property on the Louisiana side, is a one-third working interest partner in Gastar's East Texas acreage, and it also holds around 16% of Gastar's outstanding common shares.

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