A recent performance in the Austin Chalk formation helped set a higher standard for drilling in this formation. SM Energy, a leading oil and gas exploration company servicing Texas and the Rocky Mountains, recently teamed up with Crescent Directional and Ulterra while targeting this resource. Although durability was a major concern, SM Energy had a goal of reducing the number of trips in the lateral section while pushing the limits on ROP.
Stratigraphically overlying the Eagle Ford formation, the Austin Chalk formation is a prevalent unconventional resource for operators drilling in South Texas. The Austin Chalk formation consists of mostly limestone and chalk with some bands of clay, shale, and marl. Often requiring multiple drill bits, operators are challenged with identifying the best drilling technology and techniques to optimize their well.
Working alongside various business partners, SM Energy carefully selected the right drill bit, downhole tools, and technology for the operation. Because of SM Energy’s prior SplitBlade™ success in the challenging Upper Eagle Ford formation, utilizing this technology in this application was recommended by Ulterra’s team. Ulterra’s SplitBlade technology, paired with successful BHA and proper lobe/stage configuration on the motor, helped push the envelope for SM Energy.
Drilling a total of 22,549 MD, Ulterra’s 8.75” SPL613 drilled and completed 14,799 ft. in the curve and lateral sections, setting a new record for the longest known Austin Chalk well ever drilled. Compared to offset wells, SM Energy drilled 3,876 ft. further than the previously held footage record in the Austin Chalk. By cutting down additional trip costs and nonproductive time, SM Energy was able to save nearly ~$100K.
This was a great accomplishment for all teams involved and a huge achievement for SM Energy.