Forest Oil Corp.’s third operated horizontal well in the emerging Granite Wash play of West Texas produced at a 24-hour production rate of 15.1 MMcf/d, and the fourth well produced at an initial rate of 16 MMcf/d, the Denver-based producer said Thursday.

The third well, in addition to its gas rate, also over 24 hours in December, produced 1,200 b/d of oil and condensate and 2,400 b/d of natural gas liquids (NGL) for an equivalent rate of 37 MMcfe/d. The fourth well’s results, reported from earlier this month, also produced at an equivalent rate of 37 MMcfe/d, which included 1,300 b/d of oil and condensate and 2,200 b/d of NGL.

“Our Texas Panhandle Granite Wash program continues to exceed our expectations, not only from the extremely high gas rates, but also the strong liquid components associated with these wells,” said CEO H. Craig Clark. “Our most recent wells had total liquids of approximately 58% of the total equivalent production rate, which contained an average of 1,250 b/d of oil and condensate.”

Last year Forest reduced its drilling investments and decided to concentrate its efforts in the Granite Wash and the Haynesville Shale (see Daily GPI, Aug. 6, 2009).

“Based on the oil component from our three most recent wells, Forest’s recently divested Permian Basin oil production may be replaced by this area. In addition, we continue to reduce the well costs in this area and believe we can see further improvement. Forest expects to run four rigs in the Texas Panhandle in 2010.”

Forest said the third and fourth wells in the Granite Wash were drilled and completed with horizontal legs of about 4,200 feet and nine-10 hydraulic fracture stimulation stages at an average total well cost of $6.8 million.

The 24-hour production rates improved in the most recent wells after drilling longer laterals and adding fracture stages, said the producer. Forest completed its first operated horizontal well in the play in April 2009, which produced into the sales line at an initial rate of 17 MMcfe/d. Over the first 24 hours the first well produced 8.6 MMcf/d, 200 b/d of oil and condensate and 1,200 b/d of NGL.

With more fracture stimulation stages, Forest’s second well in the play in the first 24 hours produced 10.4 MMcf/d, 1,300 b/d of oil and condensate and 2,000 b/d of NGL, or 30 MMcfe/d.

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