Downspacing emerged as one of the most important themes in U.S. shale oil in 2013. Initially in the Eagle Ford, and then in almost every other oil shale, operators collectively expanded the limits of well density far beyond what seemed conceivable just a few years ago.
One after another, reports from the field heralded that early results from spacing tests showed "no or little communication" between adjacent horizontal wellbores separated by ever shorter distances. In some cases, drilling densities projected by operators for their development projects increased by a factor of three or four over just a year's time, increasing drilling location counts and resource estimates accordingly.
Success of downspacing in several key plays seems essentially a fait accompli....
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