American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - 40

SpecialReport: Eagle Ford Activity
Eagle Ford Strategies
Eagle Ford players are deploying the
latest technologies to enhance drilling
and completion operations and look to
additional basin consolidation. The number
of refracs of first-generation wells is expected
to increase, with several players
already pursuing restimulation projects.
In late March, the Eagle Ford rig count
stood at 56, almost double the count from
a year earlier. Permitting across the region
should continue to pick up at a steady
clip, says Matt Mayer, product manager
for well data at TGS. Overall permitting
in South Texas, including the Austin
Chalk, is on the rise with oil well development
continuing to outpace gas drilling.
" We are looking at a 17% increase
from 2021 prorated so far this year for
permitting in the Eagle Ford and the Austin
Chalk, following the same trend line that
occurred during 2021, " Mayer says.
While some operators continue to
exploit the oil and gas benches in the
upper and lower Eagle Ford, others are
focusing on the Austin Chalk, the most
profitable among four Texas plays on a
net present value basis, according to a
2020 TGS study, Mayer points out. Still,
overall drilling permits for the Eagle
Ford Shale continue to outpace the Austin
Chalk, he adds.
New Name, Long Legacy
With a new name reflecting a Texas
heritage and oil-producing legacy, Ranger
Oil Corp. continues to eye growth opportunities,
deploy proven drilling and
completion systems and upgrade operations
to boost returns from an oil-weighted,
140,900-acre Eagle Ford position.
" We are proud of being an oil company
and providing the affordable, reliable energy
that our country needs and demands, "
says President and Chief Executive Officer
Darrin Henke.
In October, the company rebranded
to Ranger Oil from Penn Virginia when
it closed on its acquisition of established
Eagle Ford player Lonestar Resources,
which followed a 2021 bolt-on from Rock
Creek Resources. The Lonestar deal added
50% more production, approximately
60% more acreage and approximately
$25 million in annual savings, Henke
points out.
Ranger wants to continue to expand in
a region ripe for additional consolidation,
given a disproportionately high number
of operators to overall production, he says.
With a 20-year drilling inventory at a
current pace of approximately 50 wells a
year, the company has 750 locations in
the lower Eagle Ford Shale. Included also
are 200 other locations prospective for
both the Upper Eagle Ford and Austin
Chalk, two benches the company is not
yet drilling although other operators are
proving up both in Texas' Gonzales, Lavaca
and De Witt counties, Henke explains.
In the relatively low-risk Eagle Ford,
Ranger is extending lateral lengths as
technical and land teams continue to expand
long-lateral inventory by identifying
and adding smaller, adjacent tracts to existing
leases, he says.
Laterals being drilled in the upcoming
next two years are expected to average
close to 10,900 feet-30% longer than in
2021-with efficiencies helping offset some
inflationary pressure, Henke says. The company
is experimenting and applying best
practices on downhole assemblies to operate
above 320 degrees Fahrenheit to bore the
entire well without a trip, he explains.
The company's drilling efficiencies
led to several internal " bests " in 2021,
and average feet drilled per day rose 19%
last year and stages stimulated in a day
by 20%, Henke goes on.
Continuous Improvement
" What it really all boils down to is
having a continuous improvement mindset, "
Henke comments.
After tests on several wells last year,
by September Ranger aims to case all
Lower Eagle Ford wells with 6-inch
casing instead of 51
⁄2-inch pipe, he reveals.
The larger pipe means quicker execution
and lower costs with fewer frac stages,
wireline runs and plugs, he notes. Pumping
rates can be boosted from 90 to 120 barrels/minute.
With
200-220-foot stage lengths,
wells will be stimulated with 2,200
pounds of sand and 2,500 gallons of
slickwater per foot, although adjustments
will be made by target, Henke says. In
an experiment in the late first quarter
of 2022, Ranger's completions team increased
proppant loading by 25% in a
well in efforts to further refine the
design, he adds.
⁄2-inch casing to achieve higher frac pump rates.
40 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER
As part of its continuous improvement processes, Ranger Oil increased its average
footage drilled per day by 19% and number of stages stimulated per day by 20% in 2021.
This year, it is continuing to optimize well results by transitioning to 6-inch instead of
51
Completion results have been strong
across Ranger's acreage, Henke points
out. The Bloodstone C3H and D4H wells
in Lavaca County include average 30-day
initial production of 1,340 barrels of oil a
day and average 90-day IPs of 900 bbl/d.
To drive down field costs, Henke

American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2022 - Contents
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