Experience RS

Permian Spacing - Learning the Hard Way


Robyn Fiell, G.I.T, Associate

Author Biography

Robyn graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in geological engineering. She previously completed a summer internship at Modern Resources where she gained experience in designing and analyzing completions in tight sandstone reservoirs. A member of Permian team, Robyn focuses on the Delaware and Midland basins and contributes to geologic basin analysis, field modeling and resource evaluation.

Operators in the Permian Basin have tested a variety of development techniques to achieve the optimal combination of well spacing and completion designs to maximize resource recovery, and this blog looks at average horizontal well spacing from 2018 to 2019 in the most economic intervals in the Delaware and Midland Basins (Figure 1). In general, consistent Y/Y spacing indicates operators are converging toward an effective design, but major fluctuations show operators are applying lessons learned the hard way.

In the Midland Basin, PXD, SM and FANG had the most consistent Y/Y well spacing, averaging six to eight wells per section. LPI and PE both widened spacing considerably in 2019, while QEP, CXO and CPE moved to slightly tighter spacing in their assets. The notable increase in well spacing for both LPI and PE is a result of previous unsuccessful downspaced pilots and a transition to return-focused development strategies.

In the Delaware Basin, MTDR, FANG and CXO showed the least variance in spacing design Y/Y. Although steady in spacing, MTDR trailed its peers in the overall transition to full-field development as it continued to drill widely-spaced parent wells, potentially impairing future drilling inventory. WPX, XEC and PE all trended to wider spacing in 2019, while CPE stood out as the only name to significantly tighten its 2019 wells. CPE is transitioning to full-field co-development and focused most of its 2019 Delaware resources on testing its first multi-zone, large-scale development, the Rag Run, at eight wells per section per zone; this led to the notable decrease in average spacing from 2018.

We will continue to monitor development techniques and analyze 2020 well results to assess challenges and achievements related to well spacing.

FIGURE 1 | Average Operator 2018/2019 Horizontal Spacing for Lower Spraberry and Wolfcamp Wells



RS Energy Group Disclosure Statement:

© Copyright 2020 RS Energy Group Canada, Inc. (RSEG). All rights reserved.

All trademarks, service marks and logos used in this document are proprietary to RSEG. This document should not be copied, distributed or reproduced, in whole or in part. The material presented is provided for information purposes only and is not to be used or considered as a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any securities or other financial instruments. Information contained herein has been compiled by RSEG and prepared from various public and industry sources that we believe to be reliable, but no representation or warranty, expressed or implied is made by RSEG, its affiliates or any other person as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Such information is provided with the expectation that it will be viewed as part of a mosaic of analysis and should not be relied upon on a stand-alone basis. Any opinions expressed herein reflect the judgment of RSEG as of the date of this document and are subject to change at any time as new or additional data and information is received and analyzed. RSEG undertakes no duty to update this information, or to provide supplemental information to anyone viewing this material.  To the full extent provided by law, neither RSEG nor any of its affiliates, nor any other person accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of the information contained herein. The recipient assumes all risks and liability with regard to any use or application of the data included herein.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

This public communication may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements are based on our current expectations about future events or future financial performance. In this context, forward-looking statements often contain words such as "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "see," "will," "would," or "target” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes.

These statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the events we discuss not to occur or to differ significantly from what we expect. When evaluating the information included in this communication, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect our judgment only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events and circumstances that arise after the date hereof.

Note to UK Persons:

RSEG is not an authorised person as defined in the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) and the content of this report has not been approved by such an authorised person.  You will accordingly not be able to rely upon most of the rules made under FSMA for the protection of clients of financial services businesses, and you will not have the benefit of the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This document is only directed at (a) persons who have professional experience in matters relating to investments (being 'investment professionals' within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the "FPO")), and (b) High net worth companies, trusts etc of a type described in Article 49(2) of the FPO (all such persons being "relevant persons").  RSEG’s services are available only to relevant persons and will be engaged in only with relevant persons. This report must not be acted or relied upon by persons who are not relevant persons.  Persons of a type described in Article 49(2) of the FPO comprise (a) any body corporate which has, or which is a member of the same group as an undertaking which has, a called up share capital or net assets of not less than ( i ) in the case of a body corporate which has more than 20 members or is a subsidiary undertaking of an undertaking which has more than 20 members, £500,000 and (ii) in any other case, £5 million, (b) any unincorporated association or partnership which has net assets of not less than £5 million, (c) the trustee of a high value trust within the meaning of Article 49(6) of the FPO and (d) any person ('A') whilst acting in the capacity of director, officer or employee of a person ('B') falling within any of (a), (b) or (c) above where A's responsibilities, when acting in that capacity, involve him in B's engaging in investment activity.