What Area does the Cline Shale (aka Lower Wolfcamp) Formation cover?
The Cline Shale covers a large area on the eastern shelf of the Permian Basin. It dates back 300 million years and was created when the area was covered by a shale sea. It is one of the deepest targeted formations in the region at a depth of roughly 9,000 feet and covering well over 1 million acres across more than a dozen counties east of Midland including Scurry, Fisher, Howard, Mitchell, Nolan, Borden, Glasscock, Sterling, Coke, Reagan, Irion and Tom Green counties.
The depth and maturity of the deposits give the Cline a promising potential with estimates of the total reserves reaching 30 billion barrels, larger than the Bakken and Eagle Ford Formations combined.
Who’s Drilling Oil and Gas Wells in the Cline Shale?
Many companies have increased production estimates in the Cline Shale. And with wells producing up to 800 barrels a day, new ones are forming all the time. Some of the leading companies involved with the Cline Shale are: Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation. Apache Corp.,Callon Petroleum, Laredo Petroleum Holdings (LPI), Range Resources (RRC), Clayton Williams Energy, Broad Oak Energy, and Athlon Energy. This is in no way an exhaustive list, and investors may have an opportunity to work with several other operators in the area.
What Types of Drilling Technologies are being Used?
536 rigs were reported in mid 2014 as being active in the Cline Shale. New extraction techniques have allowed production companies to tap into layers of rock previously considered uneconomic to explore.
The softer makeup of the layers allow horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing, which has been increasingly used to tap into plays more rich in crude oil, condensates, and natural gas liquids.
Although vertical wells have produced solid returns for over 100 years and are plentiful in the area, horizontal drilling is increasing at a greater rate. The vast quantities of oil-in-place in stacked reservoirs are playing a key part in the increase.
Investing in the Cline Shale
Companies are still “cracking the code” of the Cline Shale region and are constantly producing impressive returns. As the result of covering well over a million acres, the Cline Shale (Lower Wolfcamp) is estimated to produce 50,000 jobs and have a $30 billion annual economic impact. Along with new drilling techniques being used in the area, the large number of barrels being produced daily, and the vast area it covers, new companies are emerging to provide you with investment opportunities all the time.
As always, be sure to do your due diligence before investing in any direct oil or gas drilling opportunity. Check out our free guide, linked on the sidebar to the right and in the navigation menu, which also includes a “legit meter” that helps determine whether an opportunity and company is offering you a good deal or not.