Wildcatters


Armstrong Energy and Respol, SA, exploring the Nanushuk play in the North Slope Alaska, Pikka Unit, winter, 2016 (-65 F temperatures). The Horseshoe discovery is set to come on line in 2021 at 120,000 BOPD of 30 API oil...EXACTLY the kind of oil America needs. The discovery well was located approximately 35 miles south of the nearest other North Slope production.


THIS is a wildcat well, and Bill Armstrong, an Abilene boy now based out of Denver, is a wildcatter.


These are not wildcat wells. These are HZ tight oil wells being drilled in the Permian Basin that now has 31,000 of the damn things in it whose laterals look like a game of pixie sticks. The two sub-basins in the Permian have multiple benches in them to choose from; anybody, I repeat... anybody can make a well in the Wolfcamp, for instance. Hire someone to steer the radius and lateral, stuff it with as much sand and water as you possible can and pray for a 140% ROI.


These are not wildcat wells either. These are Niobrara wells in the DJ Basin of Colorado getting prepped for zipper frac'ing. I think we're looking at about $35MM of wells all lined up like dominoes.



















Above is great geologist, Everett DeGolyer of

Oklahoma sitting on the well head of the Potrero No. 4 well in the Tampico Basin in 1913, without question the most prolific oil well in world history. He was a wildcatter.


On the right is the 1936 discovery well of Old Ocean Field in Brazoria County, Texas, one of the most productive gas fields in America. "Mr. Jim" Abercrombie was the first oilman to recycle gas thru a reservoir for pressure maintenance reasons and to improve liquids recovery and he did that in Brazoria County; without being told to. Mr. Jim was a wildcatter.


The gentlemen below drilled 131 straight dry holes in Alberta, Canada in the 1940's before finally making the great Leduc discovery. They were wildcatters.




These guys, above, are NOT wildcatters. They're money finders that bought big blocks of acreage in a well defined area of unconventional tight oil resources, hired some consultants to drill a few wells to prove it up, then sold out to Pioneer.


Neither is this fella a wildcatter, https://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0202/066.html?sh=52fa0ada3681

He borrowed lots of money and leased half of North Dakota, also a well defined area of unconventional right oil resources. He may be a pioneer, of sorts, and being on CNBC, famous, but he is NOT a wildcatter. He is just another mass shale oil well manufacturer.

The dude from Midland that likes to call Midland County, Saudi America, has also been called a wildcatter and this is what his vast, unexplored region of the world looks like on the right, a TRRC GIS map of well bores.


The Eagle Ford shale was known to be oily and was perforated as early as the 1980's; 14,700 square miles of the Bakken/Three Forks before then. The Spraberry was first tested in 1948 and every Ellenburger test in both sub basins of the Permian drilled thru oily Wolfcamp and Bone Springs shaley carbonates. None of these basins were the 'frontier.' George Mitchell had cajones, and was a wildcatter, for combining old horizontal technology and stage frac'ing (first developed in Pine Island, Louisiana in the 1950's) in the Fort Worth Basin. With his own money.


Once the USGS got thru assessing technical recoverable resource potential in America's shale basins by the square mile, shale development became a simple matter of tweaking the completion process, not searching for new oil. After that most folks were simply wildcatting for money.


Who cares, you ask; its just a word? Well, I care. History matters. Every day the oil and gas industry looses a piece of itself to internet experts who just a decade ago new nothing about oil and gas. Drake, Doheny, Rockefeller, McCarthy, Benedum, Slick, Moncrief, Joiner, Halbouty, etc. were wildcatters with big nuts who took chances and lived and died by their own sword. Most of the time is was their money and their professional reputations on the line.


Look at CEO compensations in the shale oil sector v. financial performance of their company, of the absolute shit EUR's a reservoir engineer will sign off on and tell me, who in the shale business cares about their professional "reputation?"


When "journalists" call the wrong people wildcatters, they are in affect, cancelling 140 years of oilfield culture, they are confusing the use of other peoples money with...courage.


Its like handing out participation trophies.