March 2016 

Canadian well data – key insights and comparisons

E&P Solutions

Product Webinar

SpeakerRoberto D. Moses
Client Support Manager

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Well Economics in the US Shale: Past, Present, Future

Content Webinar

SpeakerArtem Abramov, 
Senior Analyst

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North American Shale Well Cube (NASWellCube)

Product Webinar

Speaker: Julia Weiss, 
VP Marketing 

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ArticleQuo vadis, offshore Canada? – The importance of offshore supply for the region

Sona Mlada, Senior Analyst


ArticleImpact Of Oil Prices On Investors

Per Magnus Nysveen, Senior Partner & Head of Analysis



Rystad Energy offers a wide product range of North American shale products (NASAnalysis).

NASCube: Database that provides US and Canada shale gas and tight oil plays data for 380+ companies and 139 shale plays and sub-plays. Data derives from Rystad Energy’s global and complete upstream database UCube, with additional information regarding acreage and well data.

NASWellCube: Collection of official US & CA well data, covering over 220,000 horizontal and fracked vertical wells, with complete US shale coverage, and including well attributes, monthly production rates at well level, reported and calculated initial production rates, well configuration parameters and industry trends such as pad drilling and refractured wells. 
In January 2016, Rystad Energy released the NASWellCube Premium module. The premium version in addition includes short-term activity and production forecasts, well cost and breakeven price analysis, estimated 3-stream production series and estimated drilling days for each well.

NASReport: Consists of a monthly insight, short term and medium term forecasts for both production and spending for key North American Shale plays and operators, a deep-dive into well data and completion trends. The NASReport is now electronically delivered on a monthly basis. 

NASMapsGeological, company acreage and well location maps. Maps are available as pdf-layers and GIS files with embedded information for import to GIS software.


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In March 2016 Rystad Energy will, for the first time, release the complete well data information for Canadian tight oil and shale gas plays. Let us take a look at the key takeaways and comparative analyses of Canadian plays among each other, and compared to the US plays.

Pad drilling

In 2015, 77% of all horizontal wells spudded in the Canadian Shale plays were drilled using multiple well pads. At the same time, in the United States, 74% of the horizontal wells were drilled from multiple well pads. Rystad Energy’s analysis indicates that the play with the largest proportion of multiple well pads in Canada is Montney (90%). In the US, some plays have reached above 90% share of wells drilled from multiple well pads in 2015 (Niobrara 97%, Marcellus 92%, Fayetteville 92% and Bakken Shale 93%).

At the moment, Montney is the only Canadian play where activity remained significant even in the low commodity price environment. Currently, there is no drilling in the Horn River Shale, or in the Alberta Bakken. Cardium, the only light oil play in Canada, has seen a steady production decline since 2014 due to its maturity and reduced drilling activity. Duvernay, which was still at an emerging stage when the oil price crash happened was perhaps hit the hardest; it has the highest breakeven prices among Canadian Shale plays given its depth, which makes it currently unattractive for the operators. Given these circumstances, Montney is the play in Canada to focus on at the moment.

Completion techniques

Encana is the basin master for the Montney play. The operator’s completion techniques resemble EOG’s monster wells in the Eagle Ford Shale. For all the wells completed in the Montney play* during 2014-2015, Encana used on average nearly 9 million pounds of proppant per well during the stimulation process. This is more than twice the average of the entire play for the same time period (on average the operators used 3.7 million pounds of proppant per well in Montney during 2014-2015).  At the same time, Encana’s wells have on average 21 stimulation stages, as the figure below indicates. (Wells with more than 30 stimulation stages are fairly rare in the Montney play, in comparison to some US plays, e.g. Bakken or Niobrara). These two factors – proppant volume and number of stages - contribute to the fact that Encana is the operator with the highest 30-day IP rate among the operators in Montney. The average IP rate for all Encana’s wells completed in British Columbia during 2014-2015 was nearly 9 mmcfe/d; almost double the average 30-day IP rate for all operators (4.9 mmcfe/d).

Industry trends

Shale production in the US has always had higher light oil content compared to its neighboring Canada. In fact, in 2015, the light oil content for the US shale production averaged at ~40%, while in Canada the light oil content was a mere 10%. However, the Canadian shale has a potential to be more oil-prone due to undeveloped liquid-rich areas. The Montney play, for instance, used to be considered a pure gas play in the past, but since 2012 the industry has started encountering areas with a much higher liquid content (e.g. Tower, Ante Creek, Kaybob, Kakwa, among others). As the figure below indicates, by 2013, over 40% of all completed wells in Montney had an average light oil content above 5%, and nearly 20% of all wells had an average light oil content above 50%. We can observe that this trend started changing again in 2014 and 2015 as a reaction of the operators to the dropping oil price.

Well curves

With improved completion techniques, the operators in the Montney play have managed to realize better well results every year. The figure below depicts the average well curve for the Montney play for different spud years. The results differ per operator and for specific acreage positions. (Acreage specific well curves can be obtained from our NASWellCube). At the same time, the refracking of old wells has become a more and more commonly used technique in the Montney play – in 2015, over 35 wells were refracked in Montney – more than double the number compared to 2014.