Case History: High Buildup Rate ("HBUR") Rotary Steerable System ("RSS") Optimizes Drilling Performance of Horizontal San Andres Well in Permian Basin

Forge Energy has partnered with Baker Hughes to drill multiple horizontal San Andres wells in Andrews County, Texas, utilizing HBUR-RSS technology otherwise known as their AutoTrak ͭ ͫCurve rotary steerable system. These wells are drilled with long-term production in mind including a 150 foot tangent section strategically positioned at 58 degree inclination within the curve. This design ultimately accommodates artificial lift pump placement within 85-90 feet true vertical depth (TVD) above the lateral landing point thus significantly reducing backpressure allowing these high total fluid volume wells to be drawn down further than pumping them from at or above the kick-off point (KOP).

Following the U.S. land trend for improving oil and gas recovery, the San Andres formation is experiencing a shift from vertical to horizontal drilling. This dolomitic upper Permian-age oil play is located on the northern portion of the Central Basin Platform sub-basin within the prolific Permian Basin. The reservoir is characterized as a heterogeneous, low permeability rock with widely pervasive stratigraphic trapping.

Forge began its San Andres horizontal drilling campaign in 2012 rapidly applying lessons learned to advance our technical approach leading to the curve-tangent design in early 2013. Improved performance has resulted in significant cost reductions making this unconventional approach to a conventional play highly competitive with a majority of the other plays within the Permian Basin.

Drilling consists of running and cementing 1,850’ of 9-5/8” surface casing prior to picking up the HBUR-RSS assembly to drill 7,500’ – 10,000’ x 8-3/4” production hole consisting of a vertical, curve-tangent and lateral sections. Ultimately 5-1/2” casing is run and cemented for a multi-stage plug and perforation completion. Forge was one of the earliest operators to apply the innovative HBUR-RSS technology in the Permian Basin. Time has been reduced by more than 50 percent when drilling the production hole due to fewer trips coupled with higher average rates of penetration (ROP). Prior to making this technology shift, use of conventional directional equipment would require a couple of extra trips to change the motor bend for differing steering control requirements between the vertical, curve and lateral sections. Now these adjustments are made without tripping. The ability to continuously rotate while steering also creates smoother and potentially longer laterals in our wells. The tangent within the curve ultimately provides a deeper intake point for artificial lift enabling higher ultimate recoveries.

Top IP Rate: Horizontal Wells In Andrews County

In July 2013, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co reported that Forge Energy's Fisher 9-2H horizontal San Andres completion recorded the highest initial production (IP) rate of any horizontal well drilled in Andrews County since at least 2008 or the prior five-year period. The strong IP highlights many of the things we are accomplishing operationally including drilling the curve-tangent employing HBUR-RSS technology and the use of smaller hydraulic fracture stimulation treatment targeting the upper San Andres/lower Grayburg formations.

Top 5 Hz Wells: Andrews County, TX

Operator Lease 24hr Oil 24hr Gas 24hr mboe
Forge Energy LLC Fisher 9-2H 899 154 925
Apache Corporation Three Bar Shallow Unit-107HR 738 896 887
SM Energy Company University 29 Sawgrass-2H 418 442 492
SM Energy Company University 30 Cobra-5H 435 243 476
Apache Corporation Three Bar Shallow Unit-109H 391 381 455