Goodrich grabs big stake in Tuscaloosa formation
Move expected to increase drilling activity
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BY TED GRIGGS
Advocate business writer
July 24, 2013
Goodrich Petroleum Corp. has acquired a major stake in 277,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, with plans to step up drilling activity in the area.
Goodrich acquired Devon Energy Corp.’s two-thirds share of the 277,000 leased acres in the Tuscaloosa for $26.7 million. The deal lifts Houston-based Goodrich’s holdings to 320,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa and makes the company the largest player in the formation.
Goodrich President and Chief Operating Office Robert Turnham Jr. said Tuesday that the company will spend $50 million this year drilling wells in the Tuscaloosa, but plans to kick up its activity on the newly acquired acreage.
Goodrich could spend as much as $150 million on Tuscaloosa wells in 2014.
“Under the right scenario, we would love to even double that number and spend as much as $300 million,” Turnham said.
The Tuscaloosa, which stretches across the state’s midsection and to eastern Mississippi, could produce an estimated 7 billion barrels of oil. Industry members and public officials believe the formation could launch the same kind of economic boom in this region that the Haynesville Shale — a mostly natural gas formation — did in the northern part of the state.
Goodrich believes it has “cracked the code” on how to complete wells in the Tuscaloosa, from where to land the horizontal drilling sections that span out from a well to the recipe for fracking fluid used in cracking rock formations to release trapped oil and natural gas. And Goodrich believes it can apply that code to about 75 percent of the leases it just bought.
Barrell said Devon had two major problems:
•Unlike Goodrich, Devon didn’t drill the horizontal sections of its wells in the most productive layer of the formation, which is 100 to 250 feet thick.
•Devon also didn’t use as much proppant, which keeps the fractures open, as it should have.
When a driller fracked the Haynesville, it was like cracking slate. But in the Tuscaloosa, the rock is less brittle and the fractures tend to close.
Once the play becomes more successful, all the service companies come in and that helps drive down costs.
Turnham expects other energy companies, including the majors, to move into the Tuscaloosa.
So, is this a sign that the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale field that stretches from Marksville to Kentwood between Baton Rouge and Adams County, MS going to take off given current oil and gas prices?
This post was edited on 7/24 at 11:05 am