Popularity for Longer Laterals Grows in Permian Basin

With inflation playing a sizable role in Permian Basin operators’ spending, longer laterals could be a solution to offsetting inflationary costs, says Rystad’s Cole Wolf.

Popularity for Longer Laterals Grows in Permian Basin

Since the two-and-a-half-mile lateral’s introduction in the Permian Basin in 2017, longer laterals are becoming the more popular option among operators due to lower operational costs. (Source: Hart Energy)

FORT WORTH, Texas—In the Permian Basin, the popularity of longer laterals is slowly but steadily rising, according to Rystad Energy’s upstream research analyst, Cole Wolf.

The two and a half-mile lateral emerged in the Midland Masin in 2017, growing in quantity and length until it accounted for 16% of the laterals drilled in the basin in 2021. Similarly, in the Delaware Basin, the first 12,500-ft laterals appeared in 2018, ultimately comprising only 2% of the laterals drilled in the basin in 2021.

Wolf spoke on May 17 at Hart Energy’s DUG Permian Basin and Eagle Ford conference and exhibition about the impact the three-mile lateral is making in the Permian, as well as the economic and efficiency advantages simul-frac has over zipper frac.

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Madison Ratcliff

Madison Ratcliff is an associate editor for Hart Energy's editorial team.