US-focused oil explorer Winchester Energy (ASX: WEL) has reported encouraging initial results from drilling its White Hat 20#3 well in Texas’ Permian Basin, with oil shows observed in three out of three targets so far.
The company spudded the well a week ago and is currently drilling ahead at 6,020 feet (1,835m) with only three days of drilling left.
White Hat 20#3 is targeting the Mustang prospect, which has a prospective recoverable resource target of 2 million barrels at best estimate and up to 5 million barrels on a high estimate basis.
Winchester today announced the primary target of the well, the upper Strawn sand, was intersected at 5,920ft – 20ft higher than prognosis.
Good to excellent oil and gas shows were observed, plus a “very encouraging” visual porosity averaging between 10-12% with some intervals as high as 18%.
Winchester non-executive chairman John Kopcheff said the improved porosity was a “good result”.
“Wireline logs will determine the net potential productive oil sand,” he told Small Caps.
In addition, drilling intersected a thick section of Strawn Lime between 5,770-5,910ft with “fair to good” oil shows in cuttings.
Earlier in the week, Winchester reported oil shows and elevated gas readings observed in the secondary target Three Fingers shale unit within the Wolfcamp D shale section between 5,550-5,610ft.
This means White Hat 20#3 has so far encountered oil shows in three out of its four targets, with drilling now targeting the Ellenburger formation as the well heads to its total planned depth of 6,870ft.
Permian Basin exploration program
White Hat 20#3 is the first in a three-well exploration drilling program planned for Winchester’s Permian Basin acreage.
The two other wells will target the El Dorado and Spitfire prospects.
The company is hoping to define a cumulative best to high estimate prospective resource of 7.8-17.5 million barrels of recoverable oil from the three prospects combined.
White Hat 20#3, targeting Mustang, is a step out well located about 510m from the fractured stimulated White Hat 20#2 well, which produced 200 barrels of oil per day from the Strawn sand when it was initially placed on production almost two years ago.
About 112,000 barrels of oil is expected to be ultimately recovered from White Hat 20#2.
The El Dorado prospect covers up to 1,000 acres in Winchester’s White Hat Ranch and will target the Ellenburger formation and Strawn closure.
To the east of El Dorado, the Spitfire prospect has an interpreted gross area of up to 2,000 acres.
Winchester has a 75% stake in White Hat 20#3 (Mustang prospect) and the Spitfire prospect, with private Texas-based company Carl E Gungoll Exploration LLC participating for a 25% working interest.
Winchester has a 100% working interest in El Dorado.
The company is also planning to undertake low-cost operations on several other wells in the near-term future with similar potentially oil productive zones as seen in this well, including a pad acid fracture stimulation (‘frack’) of the Strawn Lime in White Hat 39#1L and a slickwater frack of the Strawn sands in White Hat 38#3ML.