Stone Energy (Stone) of Denver has been given state approval for a horizontal Frontier test within the Hanna Basin, the deepest sedimentary geological province in the Rocky Mountain region. The company is planning to drill the Ferris Lake #1H, ne-ne 7-22n-84w, a projected 12,800’ horizontal Frontier well that will have a bottom hole spotting in the sw-sw 7-22n-84w. This new venture by Stone is located some 16 miles northeast of Rawlins, Wyo., and is in an area where the firm has previously explored for vertical reserves.
Nearly six years ago Warren E&P (Warren) created the Boneside Pass Deep Unit, a 14,235.91-acre unit located within 22n-84-85w. Within this entity, Warren drilled the Ferris Fee #2285 NE 13, ne-ne 13-22n-85w, a 16,800’ test that bottomed in the Pennsylvanian Tensleep. No significant shows were reported in this attempt, and the prospect, along with associated acreage, was sold to Stone. The firm evaluated the results of the Ferris Fee #2285 NE 13; however, no completion attempt was made, and the venture sat dormant for almost five years until it was plugged in July of this year of 2012.
Roughly a mile east of the Ferris Fee #2285 NE 13, Warren had also permitted two 16,100’ Lower Cretaceous Dakota tests in the ne-se 18-22n-84w and the sw-ne 18-22n-84w. Neither of these proposed wildcats were drilled, and the permits were allowed to expire.
Stone also had plans for additional deep drilling within the Boneside Pass Deep Unit and permitted the Ferris Fee #2284 SE 7, se-se 7-22n-84w, as a projected 17,000’ vertical Mississippian Madison test. Located within the same section as their recent horizontal prospect, this attempt was never drilled and the permit was allowed to expire in May of 2008. With no additional drilling planned by Stone, the Boneside Pass Deep Unit was also terminated.
The nearest exploration to Stone’s new horizontal staking is roughly 1.5 miles to the southwest at a dry hole drilled by Shell Oil more than 43 years ago. The UPRR #42-11, se-ne 11-22n-85w, bottomed in the Mesaverde at a depth of 4,998’ and was abandoned with no cores taken or tests conducted. Another failure by a major oil company scales 3 miles southeast of Stone’s Ferris Lake #1H. Operated by Amoco, the Alkali Flat Unit #1, nw-sw 15-22n-84w, bottomed in the Mesaverde at a depth of 9,879’. With no cores cut or tests performed, this well was plugged in 1978.
The only other recent exploration to occur near Stone’s upcoming activity is some 5 miles to the southwest at a dry hole drilled by Marathon Oil (Marathon). The Cedar Ridge #11-27, nw-nw 27-22n-85w, bottomed in the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara at a depth of 9,781’. No significant shows were reported, and the attempt was plugged in April of 2007.
This failure by Marathon is less than a mile south of a test the company drilled more than 56 years ago. The Unit #1, ne-sw 22-22n-85w, tapped the Dakota at a depth of 13,177’ and had great shows in the Shannon member of the Steele shale. Marathon conducted a DST in the Shannon from 10,119’ to 10,137’ in which the well unloaded 4,000’ of water cushion and flowed oil and gas to the surface in 90 minutes. The gas gauge was estimated at 405 mcfgpd, while the pipe recovery included 230’ of clean oil, 1,440’ of 50-percent-cut mud and oil, and 3,600’ of mud. Marathon attempted a Shannon completion; however, the results were negligible, and the well was plugged in 1954.
The Cedar Ridge #11-27 was the first of a three-well series planned by Marathon targeting the Upper Cretaceous. Less than 2 miles to the southeast, the operator permitted the Fort Steele Breaks #12-34, se-ne 34-22n-85w; and the St. Mary’s #11-35, se-nw 35-22n-85w. Planned depths for these tests were 9,712’ and 9,715’, respectively. These locations were never drilled, and the permits have since expired.
Winter frost, Bakken oil, and the Missouri River