Re-Frac Economics. How much uplift?

This model assesses the production-uplifts and well-level economics of re-fracturing shale wells in the Permian and the Eagle Ford, to improve recovery of previously missed pay. The opportunity is interesting but not quite game-changing.

Economic breakevens are seen at c$45/bbl under our base-case assumptions. The most likely NPV uplift is c$0.5M/well. However higher prices and process-enhancements can unlock $2-3M of NPV10 per well.

Input assumptions are informed by disclosures from Occidental and Devon Energy, the two E&Ps that dominate the technical literature. They are summarised in the ‘notes’ tab. Please download the file to stress-test the assumptions…

Do “digital” completions lift Permian IRRs?

We have modelled the economic uplift of extra digital instrumentation on a typical Permian well. If the data can uplift production by 2.5%, then c$0.4M of instrumentation costs would “pay back” (i.e., break even). If the data can uplift production by 10%, it would add +$1M of NPV and +5% IRR per well. These numbers are all shown at $50/bbl, but you can flex the inputs in our model.

U.S. Shale: Winner Takes All?

Shale is a ‘tech’ industry. And the technology is improving at a remarkable pace. But Permian technology is improving faster than anywhere else. These are our conclusions after reviewing 300 technical papers from 2018. We address whether the Permian will therefore dominate future supply growth.

Should the shale rigs switch to gas-fuel?

We estimate that a dual-fuel shale rig, running on in-basin natural gas would save $2,300/day (or c$30k/well), compared to a typical diesel rig. This is after a >20% IRR on the rig’s upgrade costs. The economics make sense. However, converting the entire Permian rig count to run on gas would only absorb c100mmcfd: not much of a dent in c1bcfd of flaring, as 2020 gas bottlenecks bite. This model shows all our workings.

Where will Permian production peak?

This model shows how the Permian’s ultimate production plateau will be determined by the rig count, drilling efficiency, well productivity and decline rates. It includes a 10Mbpd scenario where productivity flatlines from here; and our 20Mbpd scenario where productivity continues rising at an 11% CAGR. Economic assumptions are also included to visualise capex and FCF, under different commodity scenarios.

SPE Papers about Conventional vs Unconventional Reservoirs

This data-file estimates the number of SPE papers that have been published about conventional and unconventional reservoir engineering in the SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering Technical journal, each year since 2007. 2018 was the first year where unconventionals papers eclipsed conventional.