The Drilling and Production Process
Landowners can quickly be immersed in the process of drilling and production of a well, and as a result, must be prepared for what to expect. The drilling and production processes for new wells include numerous and complex stages that can be months in the planning. At Artex, we believe the more our landowners understand regarding this process, the better their experience will be. The drilling process begins long before the rig is brought on location to begin drilling. We work hard to ensure the process moves as quickly and efficiently as possible, while maintaining a safe environment for everyone concerned. As a brief overview, once a drill site is selected, the following general process takes place:
Title examination of tracts identified as potential drill sites is conducted by a title attorney to determine who the mineral interest owners are, and to identify any defects in the title to these tracts. The title attorney also identifies any potential issues with respect to the tracts that should be dealt with prior to drilling for oil or gas.
Often, the title attorney discovers issues with the title and requires that additional documentation be obtained. This may require our Contract Land Agents to contact you again to assist in this process, or to sign other necessary documents.
Locations of drill sites are determined by the Exploration staff, which includes geologists, reservoir engineers and land and legal representatives. These professionals review all geological and geophysical data, as well as off-set well information, to determine the location of every potential drill site. Our Drilling Supervisor will examine potential drill sites to determine if a location for the drilling and equipment exists over the subsurface target , then creates a plan for construction; taking into account the geological and geophysical parameters that determined the site. Then, we utilize a licensed surveyor for the land survey process in compliance with state permitting regulations. Additionally, our Drilling Supervisor ensures that the site construction conforms with state regulations.
Our Drilling Supervisor works closely with our drilling contractor to determine the dates for the arrival of equipment on the drilling site.
Once the drilling rig is moved on and drilling is commenced, the rig will likely run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until drilling is complete. Depending on many factors, drilling may be completed in 10 days, but if problems are encountered, can take up to a month or more. It is in everyone’s best interest to complete these operations in a timely manner without compromising the safety of the rig workers or well construction. The drilling rig will be moved to the next drill site upon completion of the drilling process.
A service rig will be moved on to the drill site to prepare the well for production of oil and/or natural gas. Ideally, this takes 3 days and is performed during day-light hours. Again, if problems are encountered, this can take longer. It is at this stage where we will be able to determine whether the well can produce oil and gas in commercial quantities.
Once the well is completed, our Supervisor will work with our Land Department to determine the location of production facilities. Construction will include pipelines, production units, tanks and meters, and possibly electric and/or telephone lines. Oil and water produced from the well will be stored in these tanks and gas produced will be transported through these pipelines to market.
Regardless of whether this effort results in a producing well or not, the drill site will be reclaimed according to state regulations as established by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas. Our reclamation efforts were recognized by The Division in 2005 when Artex was awarded the Oil-field Operations Award for its work. The reclamation process can vary based on weather conditions and work schedules.
Watch a short video on general drilling process from Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP):