On the final day of the conference, we were treated to a tour of gas production facilities in the Barnett Shale, compliments of Chesapeake Energy. We didn’t need to go far, just over to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport. That’s right, there’s a completed wellhead producing about 400 Mcf of natural gas right at the intersection of a couple of runways at DFW. They had drilled down just shy of 8,000 feet, then horizontally out about 6,000 feet right under the runways.
The footprint now is fairly small. In addition to the wellhead, there is a small building and tower for the SCADA and automatic shut-off control facilities, a few tanks for the water that comes back out of the well, and the interconnection for the gathering pipeline that takes the natural gas to the custody transfer station with Atmos. The return water is quite salty. They dispose of it in a salt water disposal well they had drilled a few thousand feet down.
From there, we headed over to a site where they were actually drilling a well. It was located in a commercial/light industrial section near the airport. They had erected 16 foot sound barriers, but the rig rises 145 feet into the air, clearly visible from the street. The use the same drill pad to drill anywhere from 8-24 horizontal wells. Once, they complete a lateral, they move the rig a few feet and drill a new well bore for a lateral a few degrees in another direction, like the spokes of a wheel.
It’s amazing how much can be produced from such a small footprint.
Editors note: We’re including some photos from the event with Andrew’s post. Enjoy and let us know if you were there in the comments below.