SUBLETTE COUNTY – The two largest operators on the Pinedale Anticline Project Area – Ultra Resources and Pinedale Energy Partners – drew more than 1 million barrels of fresh water for their 2017 oil and gas operations.
With 31.5 gallons in a fluid barrel, that comes to more than 36 million gallons of fresh water. In more human terms, the average American’s shower uses 17.2 gallons in 8.2 minutes – making the industry’s water withdrawals here larger than 2 million average showers.
The two operators plus Jonah Energy gave their 2017 wildlife and development reports and 2018 and beyond forecasts at the Bureau of Land Management Pinedale Field Office on April 26.
The largest water user was Ultra, reporting 981,212 barrels of fresh water. Pinedale Energy Partners (which bought QEP last year) reported using 173,475 barrels and Jonah Energy (which bought Linn Energy’s Anticline assets in June 2017) used “a small amount,” according to their managers’ reports.
Ultra used its 981,212 barrels for drilling (688,794 barrels), production (25,0157), completions (145,003), construction (110,398) and stock water (12,000) – more than twice what it used in 2016 at 405,076 barrels.
PEP broke down its uses for drilling (102,240 barrels), completions (50,235) dust control (11,000) and stock water (10,000).
Jonah Energy used “a small amount” of fresh water for drilling and completions at one location.
Ultra reported 14,549,519 barrels of total produced water across the field; more than 15 million barrels were injected. For completions, 99-plus percent were done with recycled water.
Almost 100 percent of its completion water is recycled and 96 percent of produced water is injected for disposal; and 4 percent is recycled or used for operations.
PEP’s produced water volume was 6,024,726 barrels, piped through Andeavor’s liquids gathering system with 5,132,001 barrels going to the Anticline disposal facility and 892,725 to the PEPO Water Disposal Facility. For completions, 90.3 percent of the 860,315 barrels used was recycled produced water.
From June 1, 2017, Jonah put about 150,700 barrels of produced water from its 35 producing wells into disposal wells. This year, Jonah’s projected water use and disposal volumes “will likely increase” as its production ramps up in DA-5.
Hard at work
Ultra also posted the most development activity of the three in 2017, drilling 184 wells with an average of 5.9 rigs operating for the year. It added nine well pads and expanded one. Ultra’s year-end total was 2,078 producing wells.
Pinedale Energy Partners, which took over QEP leases last September, used one rig to drill 26 wells, also building one new pad and expanding two. At year’s end
drilled one new well. In June, Jonah acquired 22 pads for reclamation and 33 producing wells.
This year and beyond
Ultra plans to drill 101 wells with an average of 4.7 rigs. As of April 26, Ultra has four rigs operating, planning one new in Development Area-3, two in DA-4 and three in DA-5. Development this year is focused in DA-1 on seven pads, along with pad construction, drilling, completions, production facility installations, well hookups and reclamation.
In 2019 Ultra plans to maintain four rigs. One new well pad is planned, three will be expanded and 22 wells will be final.
Ultra’s 10-year rolling forecast shows seven rigs in January and February, five in March and April and a steady four until 2020 when one is added to make five for the next two years, one more added in 2022 for two more years and eight rigs in 2026 and 2027.
Pinedale Energy Partners PEPO anticipates drilling 49 wells with two rigs and completing 44 wells. PEP’s 10-year forecast anticipates about 200 new wells drilled and one pad added per year over the next decade.
This year, Jonah Energy plans to drill two vertical wells from one existing DA-5 pad; from 2019 through 2026, Jonah forecasts drilling 240 wells