Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
Mancos Shale the Next Hotspot for Shale Gas?
London-based BP announced that one of its Mancos Shale wells produced 12.9 million cubic feet of gas per day in its first month of operation. The New Mexico land was purchased from a U.S.-based shale driller two years ago.
The Mancos Shale region is a vast area that stretches across the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that the Piceance Basin of the Colorado section of the Mancos Shale region alone holds enough natural gas to power the U.S. for over two years. It is estimated that the Mancos Shale Piceance Basin holds 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That amounts to 40 times the natural gas reserves in the area than previously estimated by the USGS in 2003.
BP’s well, located seven miles south of the Colorado border in New Mexico, produced more natural gas than any other well in the region in the past 14 years.
BP spokesman Brett Clanton said, “Given the very strong initial production rates of this well, we believe there is potential for the Mancos Shale to be a large gas play. It’s still early, but based on this initial success, we will be drilling more wells in the Mancos this year.”
The Houston Chronicle reported that Dave Lawler, head of BP’s shale gas unit, said the discovery means the Mancos Shale – part of the San Juan Basin, which stretches across New Mexico and Colorado – could become one of the nation’s top shale plays.
The problem with the Mancos Shale region is the problematic rock formations and having to drill deeper wells, resulting in higher development costs than in other areas.
BP is hoping to overcome the higher drilling costs with more high-producing wells.
It’s too early to tell, but if BP can duplicate their success, the Mancos Shale region may be the next hot-spot for natural gas production in the U.S. lower 48.