Brigham Exploration Logs Four Discoveries
Brigham Exploration Company announced its fourth high rate Lower Frio completion in its Providence Field. Brigham also announced an apparently significant Vicksburg exploration discovery with its Floyd fault block test adjacent to its Home Run and Triple Crown Fields, as well as apparently successful development wells in the Wilcox at its Dinn Ranch Field, and in the Hunton at its Mills Ranch Field.
Providence Field Development - Brigham successfully completed its fourth well in the field, the Brigham operated Matthes-Huebner #1. Prior to drilling the pay intervals in the Matthes-Huebner #1, Brigham purchased additional interests, increasing its working interest from 38% to 43% in the Matthes- Huebner #1, and from 34% to 40% in the planned Huebner #3. The Matthes- Huebner #1 recently began producing to sales at a rate of approximately 7.7 MMcf of natural gas and 2,518 barrels of oil (22.8 MMcfe) per day, or approximately 7.3 MMcfed net to Brigham's 32% revenue interest. Other participants include Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc.
The Matthes-Huebner #1 was drilled as an offset to the discovery well for the field, the Staubach #1, encountering the equivalent Lower Frio pay interval in an apparently separate fault block. In addition, the Matthes- Huebner #1 encountered pay in the shallower Lower Frio interval currently producing in the recently completed Huebner #1 well. Therefore, while the three prior Providence Field wells encountered a single Lower Frio pay interval, the Matthes-Huebner #1 found two pay sands, both of which have been commingled into one production stream.
During 2002, the Providence Field wells produced over 934,000 barrels of oil and 3.0 Bcf of natural gas (8.6 Bcfe), primarily from the Staubach #1 and Burkhart #1R wells that were completed in February and July 2002, respectively. The field is now producing approximately 24.7 MMcf of natural gas and 6,964 barrels of oil (66.5 MMcfe) per day, or approximately 18.1 MMcfe per day net to Brigham's revenue interest, from the Staubach #1, Burkhart #1R, Huebner #1 and Matthes-Huebner #1 wells. In addition, by early February the Huebner #3 should commence drilling, which like the Matthes-Huebner #1 has multiple pay potential.
Bud Brigham, the Company's Chairman, CEO and President, stated, "It appears we've been successful on all four of our late 2002 high impact wells, which includes the Matthes-Huebner #1 in our Providence Field. Last year we benefited from approximately ten months of Staubach #1 production, five months of Burkhart #1R production, and just over one month of Huebner #1 production, generating approximately 8.6 Bcfe of gross production during 2002. As we begin 2003, we now have four Providence field wells on line, with a fifth expected by early in the second quarter. As a result, we expect the Providence Field to materially impact our 2003 production volumes and cash flow, particularly given current commodity prices."
Floyd Fault Block Discovery - The Sullivan #8 encountered approximately 172 feet of apparent net pay in several Lower Vicksburg pay intervals at depths between 12,900 and 13,650 feet. Perforation and fracture stimulation operations are currently under way, and Brigham anticipates commingled production to sales by early February. Brigham retains a 34% working and 25% revenue interest in the Sullivan #8, which proves up reserves in one of several fault blocks adjacent to its Home Run and Triple Crown Fields. The Company anticipates drilling up to six offsets to this discovery, at least one of which should be drilled in 2003. Brigham also anticipates testing at least one of the other adjacent fault blocks during 2003. The Sullivan #8 is Brigham's eleventh consecutive Vicksburg completion, the prior ten of which were the discovery and subsequent development wells in its Home Run and Triple Crown Fields.
Bud Brigham stated, "While the Floyd discovery represents a nice reserve addition for our company, its significance extends beyond the new reserves that will now be considered as proved developed or proved undeveloped. The Sullivan #8 found roughly three times the apparent net pay of our typical Home Run Field well, and it further confirms our belief that each one of the adjacent fault blocks on this large and complex structure provides our shareholders with meaningful reserve value, beyond that considered "proven" by SEC guidelines."
Home Run Field Development - During December 2002, subsequent to its recent successful Palmer #5R and Palmer #3ST completions, Brigham commenced drilling its eighth well in the Home Run Field. Brigham retains a 34% working and 29% revenue interest in the Palmer #6, which has encountered encouraging drilling shows to date in the Vicksburg. The Palmer #6 is currently drilling at a depth of approximately 12,000 feet, with a targeted total depth of approximately 12,600 feet. Results are expected later this month.
Dinn Ranch Field - The Newfield Exploration Company operated Lopez Mineral Trust #3 was successfully drilled and is currently being completed as an Expanded Wilcox discovery. Brigham retains an overriding royalty interest, which converts to a 12.5% and 25% working interest at 100% and 200% payouts respectively, in the first two wells completed on Brigham's acreage. Thereafter, Brigham retains a ground floor 25% working interest. The Lopez Mineral Trust #3 is the second completion on Brigham's acreage. Completion operations on the first well drilled on Brigham's acreage, the Newfield operated Lopez Mineral Trust #1, continue to be delayed. There are currently seven wells in the Dinn Ranch Field producing at a combined rate of approximately 90 MMcf of natural gas per day, with three additional wells completing.
The Lopez #3 encountered approximately 600 feet of net pay, and is a direct offset and roughly structurally flat to the previously drilled EOG Resources, Inc. operated Lopez Mineral Trust #2. The Lopez Mineral Trust #2 has produced over 5 Bcf of natural gas since February 2002, and is reportedly producing approximately 31 MMcf of natural gas per day. Perforation and fracture stimulation operations on the Lopez #3 are currently underway, with production to sales anticipated by the end of January. In addition, Brigham expects at least one additional well to be drilled on its acreage to fully develop the field.
Bud Brigham stated, "The Dinn Ranch Field should materially impact our production volumes during the second half of 2003. The high production rates, as experienced to date by the offsetting wells, combined with currently strong commodity prices, could generate a reversion of our Lopez #3 working interests to 12.5% and 25% during 2003."
Mills Ranch Field Development Discovery - Brigham successfully ran production casing in its first development well in its Mills Ranch Field, the Brigham operated Mills Ranch #2. The Company retains a 64% working interest in the well, which was drilled to a depth of approximately 23,900 feet. The basal Hunton porosity zone was encountered approximately 400 feet high to the comparable zone in the discovery well. Perforation and stimulation operations are currently underway, with production to sales expected by the end of January.
Bud Brigham stated, "While we are very encouraged at this point, we're eagerly awaiting production tests to further define the success of this well. Given the results, we do expect to drill at least one additional offset well in this field during 2003."
Brigham spud twenty-four wells in 2002 in which it retained an average
working interest of 34%. Nineteen of these wells have been completed, three
are currently drilling, and one additional well commenced since the end of the
fourth quarter. Brigham has achieved a gross completion rate of 91% and a net
completion rate of 85% thus far in its 2002 drilling program.