The Scoop and Stack plays of Oklahoma’s Anadarko Basin may be the area’s claim to fame lately, but the unconventional potential of the long-producing conventional Simpson Group could enter the spotlight next.
IHS Markit called the Simpson shale formation “one of the biggest yet-to-be-developed shale plays in the United States.” The sentiment was shared as part of a report in which the London-based global information provider raised unconventional reserves estimates for the basin to 16 billion barrels (Bbbl) of oil and more than 200 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas.
The higher estimate—which is more than pre-shale boom assessment of 495 MMbbl of oil, 27.5 Tcf of gas and 410 MMbbl of NGL from the U.S. Geological Survey—was the result of an 18-month-long IHS project that modeled and interpreted the Anadarko Basin’s geologic characteristics and its 41 stacked plays. The firm analyzed historical well and production data from more than 320,000 wells and proprietary software that IHS said allows analysts to use formation tops data to identify formations of completion intervals on wells.
John Roberts, executive director of global subsurface operations for IHS Markit, co-authored the Anadarko Basin research with Prithiraj Chungkham, director of unconventional resources at IHS Markit. He told Hart Energy that the view of the basin can be changed with more granularity and accuracy about producing formations comparing it to having a “more powerful microscope.”
The Simpson shale is an example.
“We always like to have a couple of diamonds in the rough in here and we certainly did with the Simpson,” Roberts said. “We see it as the biggest potential in the whole Stack play.”
The Simpson, which is also present in the Permian Basin but is considered less significant because of nonproductivity as horizontal drilling targets, is believed to be a much more prolific generator of hydrocarbons, Roberts said. IHS puts the remaining technically recoverable resources for the Simpson Shale at an estimated 3.5 Bbbl of oil and 75 Tcf of gas.