The Longer Lateral The Better? Not Always, Study Shows

Over the past half-decade or so, the wonders of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in hydrocarbon-rich shale plays have made headlines and seemingly have birthed a new era in the oil and gas industry, particularly in the Permian Basin.

But while much of the focus has been on the Bone Spring, Spraberry and Wolfcamp shale plays in the Permian’s Midland and Delaware subbasins, they’re not the only areas being drilled — nor are they the only places where horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are happening.

Just north of the Midland subbasin is the Northwest Shelf, home to the San Andres play. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are happening in non-shale areas there.

The convention in the shales is the longer the lateral, the better. That might not be the case in the San Andres, according to a presentation Thursday by Russell Hall of RK Hall & Associates at the CO2 and ROZ Conference in Midland.

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