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Chesapeake’s Haynesville Learning Curve


I think it’s important to recognize the impact the learning curve has on shale plays.  Operators experiment with engineering techniques and techonologies to find ways to optimize production.  A few examples are increasing frac stages, different types of proppant and frac fluid, and more recently restricted rate production.  I would like to do a quick investigation into this topic to see if we can see the results of the learning curve within the data.  We will look to see if there are any noticeable trends in peak gas and short term gas cums through time.

Chesapeake will be used since they are by far the most active operator with about 130 producing wells in Louisiana.  I would like to use data points that are in close proximity to each other and that span the life of the Haynesville back to late 2007 early 2008.  Below is the map of Chesapeake’s producing LA Haynesville wells, colored by date first produced.  I separated them into three blocks based on where they are located, NW, SW, and East.  The NW block gives us wells that are close together and that span from 2007 to the present.

Below are a few charts generated from the NW Block production data. Peak Gas, 6-Month Gas Cum, and 12-Month Gas Cum vs. Time.  All three charts show a positive trend as we progress through time.

This is some good evidence of the learning curve.  These wells were drilled in the same relative area, by the same operator and there is significant improvement in the performance. The 6-Month Gas Cum has improved from about 600 MMcf in early 2008, to over 1,000 MMcf in 2009 with the fewest wells drilled in late 2009.  There are many other things to investigate such as decline rates,  EURs, and a better understanding of the geology even within the areas selected.  It would appear that Chesapeake either has found an excellent area within the NW to drill in the 2nd half of 2009 or they are definitely improving their processes.  Most likely it is a little bit of both. We will evaluate this area again later this year as more production data becomes available for those wells drilled in the second half of 2009. Check back to the Drillinginfo Haynesville Unconventional Update for more analysis and information.  .

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Justin Birmingham

Justin Birmingham is a Research Analyst at Drillinginfo. He creates proprietary research studies, works with statistical models and manages datasets for the DI Analytics team. Justin earned his Bachelor of Science from Texas State University – San Marcos.