Bossier Play Boss for Anadarko

Building on the success it has enjoyed so far in its Bossier natural gas play in East Texas, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. plans to spend nearly a third more in the region this year, almost $535 million total, to expand its development program and increase its exploration prospects.

Last year, Houston-based Anadarko drilled 142 development wells and increased its lease holdings for the play by 150% to 250,000 acres in East Texas and North Louisiana. It produced 60 Bcf from the two areas of its Bossier development in 2000, up from 22 Bcf in 1999. This year, it expects to increase Bossier production to 90 Bcf.

"The Bossier accounted for over one third of our total gas production last year and became our single biggest U.S. natural gas field - bigger than the giant Hugoton gas field in southwest Kansas, where Anadarko began," said COO John N. Seitz. "The steady and predictable performance of these Bossier wells, plus our very high success rate, good cost control and improvements in reservoir production through fracture stimulation combine to make this project one of the most attractive investments in Anadarko's portfolio."

More than half of the new 2001 budget for Bossier, nearly $420 million, is slated for drilling and completion of 36 new exploratory and 186 development wells, and another $100 million will be spent on lease acquisition, expansion and upgrades of gathering lines and treating facilities.

Seitz said that last year, Anadarko concentrated on expanding its lease position in East Texas. "Now we're in a good position to pursue a more extensive drilling campaign, and we have the resources, the people and the rigs to do that. Our leadership position, confirmed by our exploratory drilling successes last year, gives us the confidence to expand the limits of the play." Overall, Seitz said Anadarko would increase its Bossier exploratory program almost 70% this year.

Seven wildcats drilled last year in East Texas encountered commercial gas amounts in the Bossier. Along a similar trend in North Louisiana, one wildcat well drilled was not commercial and another is still being evaluated. Most successful last year was the Blair A-3, an extension of the Dew field in Freestone County, TX, which flowed at a rate of 50 MMcf/d with 4,600 pounds of casing pressure. Another successful well was Thigpen A-1, a 13,500-foot-deep Dew field extension, which had initial production of 15.7 MMcf/d with 3,400 pounds of casing pressure.

"Our development success rate has been phenomenal," said Mike Cochran, vice president of exploration. "Each new well provides Anadarko additional confirmation about the Bossier petroleum system model. We analyze each new data point quickly, incorporate the information into our regional models, and then we act on this new information. This constant refining of our models gives us an advantage in technical understanding and immediately directs us to new expansion areas and opportunities."

Currently, Anadarko has 27 rigs drilling for the Bossier sands in East Texas and six drilling a similar type play in Jackson Parish, LA. It expected to drill its 300th well in the Bossier this week, and by the end of 2001 expects to have 500 producing wells in the region.

Carolyn Davis, Houston

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