Houston Chronicle

European oil major Royal Dutch Shell filed for six horizontal drilling permits with the Railroad Commission of Texas for projects on five leases split between Winkler and Loving counties in the Permian Basin.

Drilling Down: Shell drills on state-owned lands in Permian Basin- oil and gas 360

Source: Houston Chronicle

Half of those wells target the Wolfcamp geological layer while the others target the Bone Spring formation. Total drilling depths of the projects range from 10,000 to 12,300 feet.

Three of the wells are on a pair of leases in Winkler County managed by the state-owned mineral rights company University Lands. Royalties from those three wells will go to the Permanent University Fund, or PUF, a public account supporting the University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems.

University Lands encourages oil and gas companies on its leases to use brackish water instead of freshwater for drilling and fracking operations. It also encourages operators to recycle their wastewater.

That approach appears to resonate with Shell’s environmental practices. Nearly one-third of the company’s 123 drilling permits filed in Texas this year have been on state-owned leases in the Permian Basin.

Permian Basin

California oil major Chevron has filed for 25 drilling permits. Five wells in Ward County target the Wolfcamp formation at a total depth of 12,000 feet while 20 in Midland County target the Spraberry formation at total depths ranging from 9,500 to 10,000 feet.

Eagle Ford Shale

Humble-based Valence Operating Co. is planning to drill six horizontal wells on three leases in Atascosa County. The wells target the Eagleville field of the Eagle Ford geological layer at total depths ranging from 8,900 to 9,000 feet.

Haynesville Shale

Houston exploration and production company Rockcliff Energy is planning to drill a new horizontal well on its Stratocaster-Stacy HV Unit lease in Harrison County. The gas well targets the Carthage field of the Haynesville shale formation down to a total depth of 12,000 feet.

Barnett Shale

Tulsa, Okla., exploration and production company Sage Natural Resources plans to drill four new horizontal wells on its Blanton lease in Wise County. The wells target the Newark East field of the Barnett formation down to a total depth of 12,000 feet.


Not every company in the Permian Basin is drilling horizontal wells. Midland oil company Blackbeard Operating plans to drill seven vertical wells on four leases split between Crane and Winkler counties. Five of the wells target the Monahans North field while two target the Armer field. Drilling depths range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

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