Montney wells continue getting longer, more productive

Image: NuVista Energy

Montney operators continue drilling longer wells with more frack stages to coax out more resources from the play straddling the Alberta-B.C. border.

Paramount Resources is focused on getting the most out of its remaining 158 sections of Montney land and will adopt a new well design that Jim Riddell, the company’s president and chief executive officer, calls transformational.

“As most of the industry had, we realized back in 2014 and 2015 that drilling longer wells, doing bigger fracks, and making wells much tighter-spaced was a recipe for better wells and values,” he told a recent CIBC investor conference.

Instead of drilling a one-mile horizontal with 20 frack stages at 60 tonnes each, Paramount recently drilled a two-mile horizontal with 50 fracks at 100 tonnes each.

“The first chance we got to show the new well design, we placed four times the frack intensity in a well compared to what we were doing before,” Riddell explained.

NuVista Energy is focused on the Wapiti area south of Grand Prairie and is also planning longer wells and higher frack intensity.

“When we go forward, we expect double the length and double the production, but it so happens these wells have outperformed even that,” Jonathan Wright, the company’s president and chief executive officer, told the conference.

Not only are they going longer, but they’re also going longer with denser fracks, much like Paramount. “We’re going from about 100 metres to about 50 metres based on the results we’ve had so far,” Wright added.

“To the extent that these little experiments—going longer and denser with the fracking—work perfectly, then we would end up exceeding our annual plan, and…we would end up with more production,” he said.

“That’s one lever that will happen through the year as we evaluate the results of these wells, and if we end up outperforming, then we have that happy choice.”

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