Analysis by the father of American Geopolitics Dr. Daniel Fine, MIT.

Archive for March, 2013

Industry Touts Major Mancos Play Estimates point to 6B barrels of recoverable oil


By Emery Cowan Herald staff writer ecowan@durangoherald.com

FARMINGTON – The San Juan Basin could be headed toward a renaissance in natural-gas and oil drilling if rosy expectations touted by industry officials at Monday’s San Juan Basin Energy Conference hold true.

“In the southern part of the basin, the Mancos play has the potential to revitalize declining San Juan Basin oil production and also has a tremendous amount of future gas production in the northern part of the basin,” said Ron Broadhead, a principal petroleum geologist with the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

The conference, which drew about 500 attendees from across the nation to San Juan College, was the first to have a dedicated focus on the Mancos Shale, which stretches across the northwestern part of New Mexico and into southwestern Colorado.

After years of declining production in the San Juan Basin, companies are eyeing the shale play for both natural-gas and oil potential because of advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies that have helped operators unlock shale gas and oil across the nation.

“It’s reasonable that the Mancos Shale could be a really, really good shale play in the San Juan Basin,” said Darryl Williams, the vice president of subsurface for BP North America Gas Exploration and Production Co.

Other presenters were more direct.

“I’m bullish on the Mancos, we’ve already seen a number of wells drilled that are economic,” said T. Greg Merrion, president of Merrion Oil and Gas. “I’m looking forward to this next boom.”

With natural-gas prices hanging around $4 per thousand cubic feet, many conference speakers focused on the oil-producing window of the shale play located in the southern San Juan Basin.

The play has been estimated to contain up to 60 billion barrels of oil, about 10 percent of which is expected to be recoverable, according to estimates by Encana and Daniel Fine, a senior energy analyst with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy.

The possibility of a resurgence had some speakers proclaiming the beginning of a new era of economic prosperity for northwest New Mexico.

“These are happy times again,” former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici said. For more of the article go to —> http://durangoherald.com/article/20130318/NEWS01/130319558/0/FRONTPAGE/Industry-touts-major-Mancos-Shale-play

Oil, gas wells in northwestern NM show potential


By Kevin RobinsonAvila

Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The oil and gas industry is getting excited about a potential boom in northwestern New Mexico.

Preliminary results from some of the 22 exploratory wells drilled in the Mancos shale formation in the San Juan Basin show commercial potential for production, according to industry executives who visited Farmington this week.

Ken McQueen of Oklahoma-based WPX Energy Inc. told the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/Yv3MkJ ) that two wells the company drilled in 2010 in a dry natural gas section of the Mancos have produced 2 billion cubic feet of gas so far. He described the area as an “attractive target” to pursue.

“These two wells are in the top 10 best wells drilled by WPX to date,” he said. “They’re quite extraordinary for us.”

Energy development companies were hopeful about the prospects for liquid natural gas and oil in other sections of the Mancos formation.

Mancos shale is sandwiched between soft sandstone layers in the San Juan Basin that producers have been exploiting for decades. Modern drilling techniques allow resources trapped inside the rock-hard shale to be tapped. Three dimensional imaging helps pinpoint oil and gas deposits, while hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling can access the deposits.

“I’m bullish on the Mancos,” said T. Greg Merrion, president of Merrion Oil and Gas Corp. in Farmington. His company is partnering with Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp. to drill exploratory oil wells in the area.

“We’ve already seen a number of wells drilled that are economic,” Merrion said. For more of the article go to–> http://washingtonexaminer.com/oil-gas-wells-in-northwestern-nm-show-potential/article/feed/2082202

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