New Wolfberry and Wolfcamp Shale Oil Play In West Texas

Oil and gas exploration companies are leasing up more acreage in the “Wolfberry Play” which is the term that has been given to wells that produce from both the Sprayberry and Wolfcamp formations in West Texas. These “dual completions” utilize perforations in both geologic formations for more oil and gas production.

In the area of interest, which includes Gaines, Andrews, Ector, Crane, Upton, Borden, Crockett, Howard, Glasscock, Irion, Reagan and all of Martin and Midland counties in Texas, the Wolfcamp is a limey-silty shale, with inter-bedded limestone layers. It looks like a new shale oil play is heating up in the Permian Basin.  Devon, El Paso Corporation and El Paso Oil and Gas have all reported that they will ramp up efforts in the Wolfcamp shale oil play or “Wolfberry shale play”, as it is now being called by many.  Not all of the wells in the Wolfcamp shale play will be dual completions or “Wolfberry” wells.

Oil and gas exploration companies who are wary of the Gulf Of Mexico and tighter restrictions on offshore drilling are moving more assets back onto land and into areas such as the new Wolfcamp shale oil play in West Texas.

Below is a news release from El Paso Corporation dated Sept 23, 2010:

“We are very excited to announce our entry into a promising new oil shale. Our acreage acquisition is the culmination of an extensive regional study by our technical team, and we expect it to become a new oil-focused core area,” said Brent Smolik, president of El Paso Exploration & Production Company. “Today’s announcement represents our second organic shale entry following our successful acquisition of more than 170,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford shale. The leasehold we have acquired has multiple pay opportunities and the combination of large contiguous blocks and a single royalty owner give us tremendous operational flexibility. We intend to leverage the successes we have had in our Haynesville and Eagle Ford shale programs, and we will update the market on our plans for the Wolfcamp shale during our third quarter earnings conference call on November 3, 2010.”

Much of this acreage was part of the Texas Permanent University fund auction.

This exciting new shale oil play in the Permian Basin could boost declining reserves in the area. In 2009 EOG Resources reported that it was selling most of its Permian Basin acreage to focus instead on the lucrative Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas. See Website