Houston Chronicle

Houston oil company Birch Resources is emerging as a leader of drilling activity in the new year.

Drilling Down: Birch Resources emerges as Permian Basin leader in new year- oil and gas 360

Source: Houston Chronicle

Barely a week into 2020, the company is already seeking permission from the Railroad Commission for permission to drill 26 new horizontal wells in the Permian Basin.

Located about 9 miles southeast of the Upton County town of Lenorah, the wells target the Spraberry formation at total depths ranging from 7,800 to 8,600 feet.

The permit filings mark a significant increase of drilling activity for Birch. Launched in 2018, the company filed for 90 drilling permits in 2019.

Known for naming its oil leases after college mascots, Birch plans to drill half of its new wells on its Midnight Matador lease, named after a horse that once served as Texas Tech’s mascot.

The other half are on the company’s Superfrog lease, named after Texas Christian University’s horned-lizard mascot.

Permian Basin

Top 10 Drillers in Texas

(Dec. 24, 2019 through Jan. 7, 2020)

Birch Resources 26

Pioneer Natural Resources 22

EOG Resources 21

BP 11

Summit Petroleum 10

Resolute Natural Resources 8

Penn Virginia 8

Kinder Morgan 8

Exxon Mobil 7

CrownQuest Operating 7

Source: Railroad Commission of Texas

Midland exploration and production company Summit Petroleum is planning to drill 10 new horizontal wells in Upton County. The wells target the Spraberry formation at total depths ranging from 8,700 to 11,200 feet.

Eagle Ford Shale

Houston oil company Penn Virginia is starting the new year with plans to drill eight new horizontal wells in South Texas. The company is targeting the Eagleville field of the Eagle Ford formation to a total depth of 14,500 feet on three leases split between Lavaca and Gonzales counties.

Haynesville Shale

No horizontal drilling permits were filed in the Haynesville Shale, but Nacogdoches exploration and production company Sonerra Resources is planning to recomplete a pair of natural gas wells. Located on its Shooting Star and Standing Pine leases in Nacogdoches County, the wells target the Kendrick field down at vertical depths to 10,848 feet.

Barnett Shale

Houston oil company Brazos River Exploration is planning to drill a horizontal well in Stephens County. Located on the company’s Buffalo Bayou lease, the natural gas well targets the Swenson field of the Caddo formation to a total depth of 3,999 feet.


Coleman oil company Window Operating is planning to drill a pair of vertical wells in West Central Texas. The company plans to target several geological layers down to a vertical depth of 4,300 feet on a pair of leases in Coleman County.

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