Booming production is leading to a 21st-century “land rush” for mineral rights in the Anadarko Basin, an oil and natural gas industry analyst reported on Thursday.
IHS Markit, a publicly traded data and analysis firm, estimates the basin holds more than 16 billion barrels of oil and more than 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas within reservoirs that can be drilled and produced using today’s technologies.
The report notes that horizontal wells that were drilled and completed the past decade within the basin, which extends north and west from southern Oklahoma into parts of Texas and Kansas, already created a tsunami of growing production that doesn’t appear will slow anytime soon.
It adds that IHS Markit analysts estimate only about 20 percent of “sweet spot” locations within one of its plays, the STACK, have been drilled so far.
“The play is still in its early stages of unconventional development,” said John Roberts, IHS Markit’s global subsurface operations executive director. “We can easily envision an additional 4,000 to 5,000 horizontal wells drilled.”
Roberts and IHS Markit report co-author Prithiraj Chungkham, its director of unconventional resources, said they have identified 41 stacked plays within the Anadarko where unrisked resources likely could be found.
Predictably, the report states that IHS Markit has noticed frenzied activities on the part of both company-owned and independent land offices seeking to obtain rights involving those plays before any wells are drilled.
“We are now witnessing a new kind of Oklahoma land rush,” Roberts said. “But unlike what happened in 1889 when lands were opened to settlement, this time the competition is for access to the energy resources that lie below the surface.”