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Tulsa, Okla.–based WPX Energy (WPX) has put the cement to two more prospects within the company’s now-terminated Moonstone Unit. Sitting along the extreme southwestern portion of Wyoming’s Washakie Basin, this federal unit was originally put together by SWEPI Inc. (Shell) to explore for both vertical and horizontal gas potential in the Upper Cretaceous and was subsequently sold to WPX in July 2014. Also included in that transaction was operatorship of three prospects drilled by SWEPI and later assigned to WPX.
As an indication the operator is abandoning this area for future exploration, WPX allowed the Moonstone Unit, which consisted of 25,100 acres in the overall area of 13n–14n, 97w–98w, Sweetwater County, to terminate in the early part of 2016. None of the wells drilled in the unit by either Shell or WPX were completed as commercial discoveries. The two officially plugged wells that are the focus of this article are the Moonstone Unit #1-ST (formerly the Moonstone Unit #1H), sw-se 15-14n-98w; and the MSU Fed 1398-03-D-32, ne-se 3-13n-98w.
The northernmost of the pair, the Moonstone Unit #1-ST, was originally slated to evaluate the horizontal Wasatch at a true measure depth of 12,148’, with a bottom hole scheduled to land in the ne-sw 14-14n-98w. Because of caving issues in the horizontal section of the well bore, this attempt was plugged back and directionally drilled to a total depth of 9,301’. During July/August 2015, this noncommercial discovery yielded 495 bo and 22.9 k bw from Wasatch perforations near 8,000’. Having been shut-in since then, WPX has decided to officially plug and abandon the well. Log tops of this failure include the Tipton at 7,166’, Niland at 7,345’, Luman Tongue at 7,684’, Wasatch at 7,989’, and the Ramsey Ranch came in at 8,545’ beneath a KB elevation of 6,959’.
Approximately 4 miles south of the Moonstone Unit #1-ST, WPX has also ordered the cement plugging for the MSU Fed 1398-03-D-32. This vertical Cretaceous effort bottomed in the Wasatch at a depth of 11,500’; no cores were taken or tests conducted. Formations picked via logs in this well bore include the Tipton at 7,539’, Niland at 7,691’, Luman Tongue at 8,027’, and the Wasatch at 9,173’.
These two latest failures brings the number of dry and temporarily abandoned (TA) prospects in the terminated Moonstone Unit to four. The other two wells that WPX has plans to abandon are the State #4-36 and the State #4-36BH, both of which spot in the nw-nw 36-14n-98w. The State #4-36 will actually have been TA twice, once by SWEPI and again by WPX.
The State #4-36 was originally drilled by SWEPI in the latter part of 2011 and achieved a depth of 16,622’ in the Fox Hills. Perforations between 14,602’ and 16,336’ yielded less than 1 bopd, 22 mcfgpd, and 3 bwpd, and the effort was TA by the major in November 2013. After obtaining SWEPI’s interest in this prospect, WPX re-entered the well, opened up the Fort Union at 11,612’–13,568’, and brought the test back into production. The most recent Fort Union gauge shows the State #4-36 produced 68 bo and 4.1 mmcfg during March 2015. After cumulating just 404 bo and 55 mmcfg, WPX is now waiting for the state to approve their plugging plan.
Offsetting the State #4-36 to the north is the State #4-36BH, SWEPI’s other noncommercial horizontal Wasatch producer. This venture was given an IPP of 3 bopd, 22 mcfgpd, and 3 bwpd from the lateral Wasatch interval 7,700’–10,355’. Completed in January 2012, the well was transferred to WPX in July 2014. As a side note, the State #4-36BH represents SWEPI’s first lateral venture in the Washakie Basin.
After receiving ownership, WPX continued to evaluate the State #4-36BH. The well cumulated 5.5 k bo, 3.3 mmcfg, and 6.9 k bw before it was TA in 2015. WPX is waiting for state approval to plug this site. WPX also staked three other vertical Wasatch prospects within the Moonstone Unit, none of which were drilled and the company allowed the permits to expire. Estimated depths for all three of these ventures were 13,500’.
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