The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

A "Monster" Well in Texas

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted January 13, 2010

"It's a monster!" Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon said, referring to his company's seventh natural gas well drilled into the Barnett Shale formation in Texas.

The Arlington, Texas, well--which is called "Day Kimball Hill #A1"--produced an average of almost 13 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in October, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, making it one of the most productive of the 92,000+ active gas wells in the state.

As the newspaper reported, the well is producing 71 times more natural gas than the average gas well in Texas. And according to Chesapeake's Operations Manager Dave Leopold, the well is likely to continue producing for more than 50 years.

The well was brought on line using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, a process that fractures the underground rock allowing the natural gas to flow more easily to the surface. First, the well was drilled vertically for a mile-and-a-half, and then drilled horizontally for about 1.3 miles. The rock was fractured in 16 places about 500 feet apart along the horizontal portion of the well.

Leopold says the well's long horizontal reach is a technological advancement that could boost production from future Barnett formation wells.

Also, more wells are expected to be drilled from the same wellpad, making it unnecessary to drill in other locations. This reduces the number of drill sites and the environmental footprint required for development.

McClendon says the energy industry is continuing to make technological advances that are likely to bring more "monster" wells on line. As the result, the United States will reap the benefits of secure, domestic energy to power homes and businesses for many years to come.