San Diego, CA-based Osage Exploration and Development Inc. reported Monday that it has spudded its fourth horizontal oil well in the Mississippian Lime formation and the rock quality appears promising. The well — the McPhail #2-18H in section 18-18N-3W of Logan County, OK –. is in the 30,000-plus acre Nemaha Ridge project, which is owned by Osage in conjunction with its partners, project operator Slawson Exploration Co. and U.S. Energy Development Corp.

“The McPhail #2-18H is located towards the middle of Osage’s acreage block,” said Greg Franklin, vice president of Exploration for Osage. “We have successfully drilled two wells in the southern area of the acreage, and one in the northern area. The quality of the rock in the middle, where we are drilling the McPhail well, looks as promising as, or better than the northern and southern areas of the acreage.”

Osage, an independent exploration and production company with a focus on the Mississippian Lime formation and Woodford Shale, also has interests in oil and gas prospects in Colombia.

The Mississippian Lime has been garnering more attention from producers as some view it as a cheaper to develop alternative to the Bakken Shale of North Dakota. Last month, IHS Herold put out a report highlighting the increased interest in the play — which stretches across northern Oklahoma, western Kansas and southern Nebraska — thanks to cheaper drilling costs and shallower wells compared to the Bakken Shale (see Shale Daily, Aug. 6).

“The Mississippian’s highly variable drilling results to date, combined with increasing entry costs, might deter new entrants, but recent drilling reports suggest results could improve as knowledge of the play and technical adjustments increase,” said Paul O’Donnell, energy equity analyst at IHS, and author of the report. “This is a shallow carbonate play with depths ranging from 3,000 feet to 6,000 feet, and since it’s shallower than other U.S. unconventional plays, operators can employ less-expensive, lower horsepower rigs to drill it.”