When Treadstone Energy Partners bought East Texas’ Fort Trinidad Field in 2012, it was investing in what many saw as a tired gas condensate producer that had seen its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, peaking at 9,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d)–3,000 bbl/d condensate, 38 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas. The field, discovered in the 1950s, yielded significant production from multiple Glen Rose reservoirs, with development concentrated in the Glen Rose C bench. The reservoir went into full blowdown beginning in 1975, and though it has seen continuous development since then, there have been few, if any, capital investments.
“This field has traditionally been a Glen Rose field, that’s what everyone has sold it as, that’s what everyone has bought it as, that’s what it’s been marketed as,” said Frank McCorkle, Treadstone’s president. “So it’s changed hands quite a few times over the past 20 years, always for Glen Rose, the deeper gas condensate field.”
But McCorkle and his team saw something else.
“Really, we just had a view of it being an oil play in the Buda and Georgetown, primarily,” he said. “And so, because of that, we had a different plan for it, a different strategy that allowed us to be able to bid high enough to acquire the field.”
It sounds absurdly simple: Plug some old wells, perf and frack the shallower intervals, and watch the oil flow. And though it was sometimes as simple as that, there was nothing absurd about the numbers. In mid-2012, the field’s production had dropped to 150 boe/d (20 bbl/d of condensate, 800 Mcf/d). By the end of 2013, Treadstone had grown production to 5,000 boe/d (4000 bbl of oil, 6 MMcf of gas). And production continues to grow, with May 2014 field production exceeding 9,000 boe/d (7,300 bbl of that oil) from only 36 producing wells.
“That field’s been producing for 60 years,” Key Sanford, Treadstone’s vice president of land and business development, said. “And it’s probably going to produce for another 50 to 70. Long after our kids have retired, that field will probably still be there.”
For its imagination and ingenuity in finding new life in an old field, Oil and Gas Investor has awarded Treadstone Energy Partners its 2013 Excellence Award for Best Field Rejuvenation.