The Barnett Combo play in Montague and Cooke counties, Texas, is firmly economic. That was the takeaway from EOG Resources' recent analyst day presentation. The Houston-based independent revealed telling details about the play, in which it is by far the largest operator and driving force.

According to EOG, the Barnett Combo play works for several reasons. First, the resource base is enormous--in fact, it ranks as one of the largest in the world. Oil in place ranges from 40- to 200 million barrels equivalent per square mile. Many old vertical wells, with long production histories, were drilled in the area, and these gave solid indications of the potential of the play. Rock work--cores and logs--showed that pore throats are large enough to produce oil.

At present, EOG is running nine rigs in the play, and it plans to grow that to 14 rigs by year-end. It has scheduled 234 net wells in the Combo area in 2010, split almost equally between verticals and horizontals. That will rise to 300 wells in 2011 and 2012.

EOG’s average costs are $2 million for a vertical well and $3.4 million for a horizontal well. Verticals are employed in Cooke County, in a narrow area rife with thrust faults and fractures. EOG's recoveries are currently 167,000 Boe gross in reserves for a vertical completion. Horizontal wells in the Montague County core area are expected to recover 337,000 Boe gross.

-Peggy Williams, Senior Exploration Editor, Oil and Gas Investor