The Austin Chalk Formation continues to produce some of the most prolific horizontal wells across the Lower 48. In Karnes County, the core of the Eagle Ford play in South Texas, Austin Chalk oil recoveries since 2018 averaged 60% higher than those of the Lower Eagle Ford, another drilling target in the area. Despite the large outperformance, the Austin Chalk has not garnered the same level of commercial interest due to its smaller footprint and localized nature of economic development. Assigning remaining inventory is challenging because of complex geology, but this is an important exercise to properly value the stacked potential of some operator’s Eagle Ford assets.
To quantify remaining locations in Karnes County, we defined a viable boundary for Austin Chalk development using key geological drivers of reservoir quality (Figure 1). Incorporating analyst-defined minimum and maximum lateral lengths and go-forward spacing assumptions, we placed future locations around existing wells using Enverus’ proprietary geospatial algorithm. After intersecting proposed well sticks with Enverus operator shapefiles, we arrived at remaining inventory by operator.
This data science approach can be combined with past performance and analyst insights to accurately estimate the quantity and quality of future locations for a given play or interval. While traditional methodology assumes a uniform lateral length can be drilled, our algorithm accounts for limitations posed by existing lease configurations to generate more accurate location counts with varying lateral lengths. Using this information, we can identify which operators have the most remaining Austin Chalk inventory in Karnes County.
FIGURE 1 | Inventory Within Austin Chalk Viable Boundary
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