Goodrich Petroleum Corp. is planning to drill 32 new wells in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation in 2014, the company said in its year-end earnings report on Thursday. The number is based on the assumption that the company will have five drilling rigs in operation before the end of the year.
Goodrich is planning to spend about $300 million of its preliminary $375 million drilling budget for 2014 on the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. That figure includes an expenditure of roughly $34 million to $45 million in the first quarter of 2014. Goodrich has two operating rigs in the formation now – one in Tangipahoa Parish and another in Amite County, Mississippi – and another is expected to be in operation in early March. In addition, the company is currently hydraulically fracturing a well in Amite County.
A part of the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale is made of naturally fractured rock that can crumble and plug holes in the formation, and this initially caused difficulties for some of the companies drilling in the formation.
However, Goodrich has been largely successful in overcoming these and other issues, and Robert Turnham, Goodrich’s president, said in his prepared remarks that the company had “locked-in lower fracked costs per well for 2014, and continues to see more competitive bids across the board.” The company expects that to continue, “with higher activity levels in the play from multiple operators” in 2014.
The Houston-headquartered company’s Crosby well in the oil-rich Tuscaloosa Marine Shale has been a prolific producer, helping to make Goodrich the largest producer in the formation. The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale stretches across much of central Louisiana and into Mississippi, and is estimated by experts to contain 2.7 billion barrels of oil, according to The Times-Picayune.
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