The deep Anadarko Basin is expected to become a major gas producing province within the next decade. The Hunton formation, sometimes occurring as deep as 28,000 feet, is the primary objective of today's gas exploration in the Basin.
The drilling industry faces the challenge of providing the equipment, and technology, to drill wells of this depth on a continuous and economical basis.
Because of the many wells drilled below 20,000 feet in the past five years, the industry today has the experience and the technical ability to successfully meet this challenge.
The Petroleum Industry must find new gas reserves. The Anadarko Basin, long one of this nation's major gas producing provinces, now is being explored to it's deepest extent for this gas. This nation's continuing need for energy has made what once seemed uneconomical and impractical, a necessity.
Today, the Hunton formation of Devonian age is one of the primary targets for this deep gas exploration. There are presently several wells drilling to the Hunton, which may occur as deep as 28,000 feet.
A few years ago, a 28,000 foot well would have been totally uneconomical. Deep drilling, at that time, had not become the routine matter that it is today, and the demand for gas had not reached the point where gas transmission companies were point where gas transmission companies were willing to bid for the gas before the well was spudded. The combination of these two facts, the improvement in drilling and the improvement in the supply and demand for gas, has made the 28, 000 foot well a reality.
However, a well of this depth still represents a tremendous challenge to the industry. Well costs in excess of 2 million dollars, well depths deeper by 2, 000 to 3, 000 feet than any ever drilled, unknown geological problems, and finally the risk of wildcatting at any depth, makes this one of the most dramatic challenges the drilling industry has ever faced.