Crude oil production in the U.S. has reached new heights this year largely driven by activity in several oil and gas producing states in the Midcontinent region.

For example, August marked the first time that monthly U.S. crude oil production levels surpassed 11 million barrels per day (bbl/d), according to a report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In August, crude oil production in the U.S. reached 11.2 million bbl/d, outpacing July production of 10.9 million bbl/d. During the month, several Midcontinent states reached record levels of oil production as well—Texas hit a record 4.6 million bbl/d and record highs were also reached in New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Below Hart Energy Activity Editor Larry Prado summarizes recent activity in this resource-rich region including a horizontal producer completed in the Western Anadarko Basin by FourPoint Energy LLC and an extended-lateral discovery by Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR) on the eastern side of the basin.

RELATED: DUG Midcontinent: More Fractures For Less Money

Since the start of 2018, production growth in Texas and New Mexico surpassed EIA’s previous expectations, which assumed that pipeline capacity constraints would dampen production growth. However, industry efficiencies in pipeline utilization and increased trucking and rail transport in the region have allowed crude oil production to continue to grow at a higher rate than the agency had expected.

In the West Texas portion of the Permian Basin, oil production from January to August increased by 683,000 bbl/d, or a jump of 15%. In the southeastern New Mexico portion of the Permian, output during the year has risen by 182,000 barrels per day or 25%.

On Nov. 16, the EIA credited the production growth in the Permian Basin to increased oil and natural gas development in the basin’s Wolfcamp play, which attends across the Permian’s three sub-basins: the Delaware and Midland basins and the Central Basin Platform. Of the stacked shale formations that comprise the Permian Basin, the Wolfcamp is the deepest and thickest but varies significantly across the formation.

Crude oil production in the Wolfcamp accounts for nearly one-third of total Permian crude oil production and more than one-third of Permian natural gas production. As of September, the Wolfcamp produced about 1 million bbl/d of oil and 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, the EIA said.

1. Concho Resources: 11/9/18

Midcontinent Activity Highlights November 2018 Map (Source: Google Maps)

A horizontal Bone Spring producer was completed by COG Operating LLC, the operating company of Midland, Texas-based Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO), in the Lea County, N.M., portion of the Carlsbad Shelf in the Permian Basin.

The #001H Mas Federal Com was tested flowing 956 barrels of crude, 1.986 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas and 173 barrels of water per day from acid- and fracture-treated perforations at 11,429 ft to 15,800 ft. The Berry North Field well is in Section 35-20s-34e and was drilled to 15,939 ft, 11,416 ft true vertical, with a lateral bottoming about one mile to the south. Gauged on a 22/64-inch choke, the flowing tubing pressure was 2,200 pounds per square inch (psi).

2. MDC Texas Operator: 11/8/18

A Wolfcamp discovery, #1HR Secretariat 10, was tested flowing 649 barrels of oil, 6.878 MMcf of gas and 5,791 barrels of water per day.

The Delaware Basin completion by Midland-based MDC Texas Operator LLC is in Reeves County (RRC Dist. 8), Texas. The Phantom Field well was drilled to the north to 14,698 ft, 9,725 ft true vertical, in Section 10, Block C18, PSL Survey, A-1484. Production is from acidized and fractures perforations at 9,898 ft to 14,603 ft. It was tested on a 58/64-inch choke and the flowing casing pressure was gauged at 850 psi.

3. UpCurve Energy: 11/7/18

UpCurve Energy LLC, based in Houston, completed a Delaware Basin-Wolfcamp venture in Reeves County (RRC Dist. 8), Texas.

The #1H Sunshine State 44 was tested on-pump for 920 barrels of 49-degree-gravity oil, 5.87 MMcf of gas and 4,224 barrels of water per day from natural perforations at 10,380 ft to 16,240 ft. The 16,375-ft horizontal Phantom Field well is in Section 44, Block 72, PSL Survey, A-2819, on a 200.9-acre lease. The lateral bottomed about 1.5 miles to the north in Section 37 with a true vertical depth of 10,176 ft.

4. FourPoint Energy: 10/29/18

In Wheeler County (RRC Dist. 10), Texas, Denver-based FourPoint Energy LLC has completed a Western Anadarko Basin horizontal producer.

The #101H Hefley-Moore is in Section 1, H&GN Survey, A-391. It initially flowed 4.01 MMcf of gas, 552 barrels of 57-degree-gravity condensate and 31 barrels of water per day. Production is from Des Moines Granite Wash perforations at 11,900 ft to 16,486 ft. It was drilled north across the section to 16,645 ft with a true vertical depth of 11,947 ft and was tested after acidizing and fracturing. Gauged on a 43/64-inch choke, the flowing tubing pressure was 1,200 psi and the shut-in tubing pressure was 3,600 psi.

5. Southwestern Energy: 10/26/18

IHS Markit reported that Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN) completed a Van Buren County, Ark., horizontal well with a two-mile lateral initially flowing 7.73 MMcf of gas per day.

The #13-35H23 Sisson 10-14 is in Section 35-10n-14w and is producing from a Fayetteville interval at 5,327 ft to 13,969 ft that was acidized and fracture-stimulated in 58 stages. The completion was drilled north across Section 26 to 14,343 ft, 3,684 ft true vertical, with a bottomhole in Section 23-10n-14w.

[Editor’s note: Southwestern Energy recently agreed to sell its Fayetteville Shale business to Flywheel Energy LLC for about $2.3 billion, marking the company’s exit from the region. The sale is expected to close December.]

6. Bravo Arkoma: 10/25/18

Tulsa, Okla.-based Bravo Arkoma LLC completed three long-reach horizontal Woodford wells from an Arkoma Basin pad in Section 15-1n-10e in Oklahoma’s Coal County.

The #4-22/27H Stella Tucker flowed 7.17 MMcf of gas, 13 barrels of oil and 924 barrels of water per day from a treated interval at 9,130 ft to 19,409 ft. It was tested on a 25/64-inch choke with 156 psi of flowing tubing pressure. The 19,534-ft well has a true vertical depth of 7,850 ft and bottomed two miles to the south in Section 27-1n-10e.

The #2-22/27H Stella Tucker was drilled with a parallel lateral extending to 19,012 ft (7,692 ft true vertical) and bottomed in Section 27-1n-10e. It produced 6.77 MMcf of gas, 6 barrels of oil and 922 barrels of water per day from 8,811 ft to 18,957 ft.

The #3-22/27H Stella Tucker flowed 2.7 MMcf of gas and 445 barrels of water per day during testing on a 128/64-inch choke. It was drilled to 19,007-ft, 7,843 ft true vertical, and bottomed in Section 27-1n-10e with production from 8,725 ft to 18,957 ft.

7. Continental Resources: 10/23/18

In Grady County, Okla., Continental Resources has completed an extended-reach horizontal Woodford producer in the eastern Anadarko Basin.

IHS Markit reported that #1-23-14XH Lillian, Section 26-7n-5w, flowed 1,182 barrels of 46-degree-gravity oil, 2.47 MMcf of gas and 1,825 barrels of water per day. The discovery was drilled to the north to 21,931 ft, 10,844 ft true vertical, and bottomed in Section 23. Tested on a 48/64-inch choke, production is from an acidized and fractured zone at 11,505 ft to 21,755 ft.

Larry Prado can be reached at lprado@hartenergy.com.