Major operators in the STACK are resetting expectations around Meramec spacing as they shift to development mode and focus on maximizing acreage values. Initial downspacing projects tested eight to 14 wells stagger-stacked across two zones in the Meramec. However, child wells in many of these pilots exhibited greater-than-expected degradation in production due to well interference. Many STACK operators lowered Meramec spacing assumptions to four to eight wells per section (Figure 1).
CLR revised its spacing down to eight wells per section in early 2018, among the most conservative assumptions at the time, and has since lowered the range to six to eight. DVN cited geological heterogeneity, vertical well interference and flowback issues as drivers of reduced productivity in its three key pilots, Showboat, Horsefly and Bernhardt, that tested nine to 12 wells per section. In contrast, ECA intends to utilize cube development with tighter well spacing on its recently acquired NFX position that may benefit from co-completing wells. Production data from a limited number of co-completed pilots show less degradation at tighter spacing than parent-child wells.
Despite the turbulence, these spacing pilots bring us one step closer to understanding optimal spacing in the STACK and suggest that wider spacing assumptions may be necessary to maximize acreage values.
For additional information, see our previous blog post on STACK spacing called Meramec Pilots Testing Optimal Well Spacing.
FIGURE 1 | STACK Infill Spacing Assumptions by Operator (Wells per Section)
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