Hardcopy Subscribers: Click Here to create your account and activate your PDF Edition! Already created your account? Click the Log In link above the menu bar and then select PDF Edition from the menu to access the latest edition.
Colorado-based Red Willow Great Plains (Red Willow) has received state approval to drill a deep vertical wildcat on the northwest flank of Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Spotting in front of the Big Horn Mountains and some 3 miles northeast of Buffalo, Wyo., Red Willow has staked the Buffalo State #20-1, nw-se 20-51n-81w, a projected 15,000’ Lower Cretaceous Dakota test. This location is near the synclinal axis of the basin.
The section where Red Willow plans to drill is currently covered by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) rule that states, “… any proposed well in the Powder River Basin projected to test the Frontier, Muddy, and/or Dakota Formations in excess of eleven thousand (11,000) Feet total depth shall be granted a spacing unit of six hundred forty (640) acres consisting of the governmental section in which the well is proposed.” Red Willow has indicated to the commission that in addition to the Dakota, they plan to evaluate one or more of the regulated formations.
In a matter related to this 640-acre drilling unit, Red Willow has been given permission by the WOGCC to force-pool nonconsenting mineral owners within this section. According to documents supplied to the state, of the 24 mineral holders within section 20, 51n-81w, half failed or refused to voluntarily pool their interests in the target formations for the drilling, completing, equipping, testing, and production of the Buffalo State #20-1.
The township where Red Willow has staked their latest project has only seen the drill bit eight times, six of which were pursuing shallow coal-bed methane potential. There is currently no established production within this township.
The two exploratory wells in 51n-81w include an offset to Red Willow’s Buffalo State #20-1. Drilled 25 years ago and operated by Anschutz Corporation, the State #2945 10-20, nw-se 20-51n-81w, bottomed in the Lower Cretaceous Dakota at a vertical depth of 12,625’. With no production casing run, this attempt was plugged and abandoned. Log tops for this dry hole include the Shannon at 9,314’, Niobrara at 10,260’, Frontier at 11,210’, Muddy at 11,892’, and the Dakota came in at 12,582’ beneath a ground elevation of 4,508’.
The second conventional wildcat near the Red Willow prospect scales almost a mile to the northeast. Drilled by Phillips Petroleum (Phillips), the Morton A #1, sw-sw 16-51n-81w, achieved a total vertical depth in the Upper Cretaceous Shannon of 9,350’. Phillips conducted one drillstem test in the wellbore across the Shannon interval at 9,180’–9,350’, where the pipe recovered 70’ of drilling mud with no shows of oil or gas. Tops of this failure include the Teapot at 7,858’, Parkman at 8,073’, Sussex Bentonite at 8,695’, Sussex Sand at 8,737’, and the Shannon “C” was picked at 9,199’. KB elevation for this duster was 4,446’.
The nearest active production to Red Willow’s Buffalo State #20-1 is some 17 miles to the southeast at Big Cat Field, which was discovered in 1988. This Shannon and Sussex reservoir has subsequently cumulated more than 90.6 k bo and 66 mmcfg, with production coming from depths near 9,500’. Big Cat Field has been shut-in since March 2016.
12-pack on Ice