Here We Go Looptie-Loop

This was an engineering marvel drilled by Shell (NFG) in Loving County, Texas in early 2019 that everybody liked to call the "horseshoe" well. The directional drilling community went bat shit crazy over this thing.

To circumvent a zone of extreme loss circulation in an offset well Shell went around that, drilled a 5000 foot lateral one direction, steered 180 degrees around the corner and drilled another 5,842 000 foot lateral parallel to the first one, in the opposite direction, both laterals in the Wolfcamp. The well profile looked something like the image above. Shell claims it was cheaper than drilling two separate laterals but I'd like to see the bills on that.

So, the well has been on line a year, how's it doing economically; is it going to make any money? I mean, really, that is the bottom line, right?

In 2019 the average lateral length in the Loving County HZ play was 7,030 feet and wells like that typically got 16MM pounds of sand shoved into them.

Click to enlarge

The average Loving County horizontal well completed in 2019, all operators, has a cumulative oil production per 1000 feet of lateral the first 12 months of production of 24,360 barrels and those wells on average made 177,638 barrels the first 12 months of production, see below.

The Shell (NFG) Nellie 1-85 4H well has 10,842 feet of looptie-loop laterals with 24MM pounds of sand shoved into it, see below.

Uh oh... the first 12 months of Nellie 4H life the well made 12,152 barrels per 1000 feet of lateral, half of what "normal" 2019 wells did in Loving county....

Click to enlarge

...and only made 131,754 barrels of oil its first 12 months of production life. By the way, the Nellie 4-H's first year decline is on track with other Loving County HZ wells, see below. Clearly a lot of the looptie-loop lateral did not get effectively stimulated.

So, it may have been fun steering around the fence post, that for sure makes for good conversation, but the Nellie 4H is a so-so well and if it cost $15-16MM to drill and complete, which I bet it is not going to reach payout at $40 WTI. I know this well makes a lot of gas, and gas liquids, particularly in Loving County; if you think that's going to help reach payout, good luck.

The Nellie 4-H, as we use to say in the old days when oil and gas wells HAD to make money to be considered noteworthy an engineering success but a pipeline failure. This is a "novelty" well, sort of like the Surge, Medusa that will NEVER come close to paying out.

Whoa Nellie.


Thanks to for all the really good stuff. It took me less than an hour to put this together, that's how easy Enno's stuff is to use.

Underneath the rubble is the truth; dig it out.