Comstock Resources Inc. may ramp up its new western Haynesville play north of Houston to as much as 2 Bcf/d by 2028, the operator’s CEO told analysts this week.

Comstock’s two newest wells in Robertson and Leon counties, Texas, were turned into sales in August and September with up to 35 MMcf/d.

Cazey MS #1 was completed in Robertson County from a 15,986-ft vertical and a 10,028-ft lateral. The well IP’ed at 34 MMcf/d.

The second new well, Lanier CW #1 in Leon County, IP’ed at 35 MMcf/d from a 9,577-ft lateral at a 17,309-ft total vertical depth.

Both were completed in the Bossier, which overlays the Haynesville in the area that is the westernmost boundary of a formation better known for its prolific wells in East Texas and northwestern Louisiana since 2008.

To date, Comstock has brought seven wells online in the new play. An eighth well is awaiting completion and is expected to come online in January.

The Dallas-based operator, majority owned by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is now drilling its ninth and 10th wells. Lease acquisition continues while Comstock has picked up some 90% of its targeted acreage, totaling roughly 200,000 net acres to date.

Jay Allison, Comstock CEO, said in the company’s earnings call Tuesday, “Anything we get from this point on will just be additive. It will not be the core of the core at all. It will be just rounding out where we can add some more acres if we can get to it.”

But by year end, “I think the big land grab that we’ve had for three years is over with.”

Takeaway investment

Houston-based Quantum Capital Solutions, a unit of Quantum Capital Group, has signed on to invest up to $300 million to expand the Pinnacle gathering system, 145 miles of high-pressure pipeline and the Bethel natural gas processing plant.

Comstock bought the assets in 2022 for $16.8 million.

Allison said capacity may increase to 2 Bcf/d, dialing it up as more wells are brought online.

Except for the new wells in the area that Comstock has brought on, the plant had been lightly utilized. It was built during the aughts to serve a booming vertical Bossier play that was displaced by better economics in the horizontal Barnett and other shales beginning that decade.

“We don’t have much [legacy] volume out there,” Allison during an Oct. 31 earnings call.

Comstock plans to add a third rig to the play in 2024 and possibly a fourth in 2025.

Allison said, “We modeled it out that, by 2028, we would have the capacity with takeaway both for transportation and the gathering to have at least 2 Bcf/d … based on us having about 500 MMcf/d by mid-2025 and then growing on that with investments … into future years to 2028.

“That is how we backed into this.“

The Quantum partnership is an endorsement of the new play’s viability, he added. “I mean, they looked at everything, kind of like our banks did, and said, ‘We're really pleased with what you've done and we like where you're going and we would like to partner with you.’”

Landing in Haynesville

Of 10 wells planned for the play in 2024, eight will be landed in the Haynesville and two in the Bossier.

Dan Harrison, Comstock COO, said on Oct. 31 that the “first seven wells targeted Bossier, not entirely due to temperature but partly due to the temperature.”

With the Bossier/Haynesville at up to 19,000 ft downhole, the temperature is more than 400 F, according to logs of the vertical Bossier days. Pressure is more than 17,000 psi.

Harrison said, “This is a high-bottomhole-temperature play. We specifically targeted the Bossier [rather than Haynesville] early on just to increase our chance of success.”

Managing for the temperature has improved. “So we've leaned in more on drilling the Haynesville [next year].”

He expects “the Haynesville will be a better performer than the Bossier, just like up in the [legacy play]. We like the Bossier. These Bossier wells look fantastic. But just like up there, we expect the Haynesville to be a little better performer.”

Comstock’s one Haynesville well to date, McCullough Ingram A #1 in Robertson County, was turned into sales in June. It IP’ed at 35 MMcf/d from 8,256 ft of completed lateral at a total vertical depth of 17,836 ft.

Lateral length will likely average about 10,000 ft, Harrison said. “I don’t see us getting a whole lot longer out here just due to the temperature.”

Well costs

Comstock has continued to run four drilling rigs in its legacy Haynesville acreage in East Texas and northwestern Louisiana. Harrison said it may be hard to hold production there flat with four rigs.

As the new Haynesville play appears to have a lower decline rate, “I think that we can lower our corporate decline rate as the Western Haynesville takes over a more meaningful part of the production base,” he said.

Netherland, Sewell & Associates Inc. estimates the new play’s wells may have EURs of 3.5 Bcf per 1,000 ft of lateral.

Comstock hasn’t shared details of well costs to date. Allison said the cost has been higher than legacy Haynesville development due to being single, exploratory wells rather than multi-well development pads, as well as extreme depth and temperature conditions.

If looking at the cost of the first seven wells in 2008 in the newly discovered Haynesville play, “We always said … you need a big barf bag because they look terrible. I think these seven [new play] wells will make you smile.”

What will be revealed in time, he added, will be “what the type curve really looks like” and “if these bottomhole pressures will maintain where they are today.”

But indications are “these wells are top of class.” Based on findings from the legacy play and the experience to date in the new play “these are some of the best wells we've ever touched.”