Resolving Intra-Reservoir Horizontal Drilling Conflicts Using a Reservoir Community Analysis
18 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2015
Date Written: 2014
When an owner’s activities within an oil and gas reservoir physically invade the portion of the reservoir owned by its neighbors, the immediate response is “trespass.” The trespass response is based upon the extension of surface property lines to define rights to subsurface geologic structures. The basic flaw with this analysis is that the oil and gas reservoir is an interconnected geologic system that cannot be divided into segregated parts. Instead, each owner has collective as well as individual rights in the reservoir. This article identifies the collective rights of reservoir owners and the reservoir community analysis used to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate use of the reservoir. These rights, and the reservoir community analysis, will be illustrated by applying them to cross-boundary intra-reservoir issues associated with hydraulic fracturing. The first are frac fissures that invade neighboring portions of the reservoir. The second are frac pressures that invade neighboring portions of the reservoir and sometimes disrupt existing production operations.
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