New Permian Oil Play Requires Pumping and Persistence

Sometimes a new oil play is discovered by an explorer doing “the right thing for the wrong reason.”

That is how Ken Barbe, one of the founders and managers Manzano LLC, describes the decision to drill one of the first successful wells into a Permian play which is unconventional, but not in the way he and his partner had expected.

The independent company drilled a horizontal well thinking “we were dealing with tight rock that produced limited amounts from vertical wells,” he said. But when they fractured their first horizontal well they found more permeable rock producing a lot of water.

That led to conversations with two other companies pioneering this zone that said it was to be expected.

“We had some conversation with Forge Energy and Walsh Petroleum and they encouraged us to be patient and that we would start seeing an oil cut once we got our pump intake pressure down,” Barbe said. “They were exactly right and we had to change our opinion on how and why the reservoir would work economically.”

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