Word to the Wise: Montney Drilling Overview

March 9, 2021

Each week, XI Technologies scans its unique combination of enhanced industry data to provide trends and insights that have value for professionals doing business in the WCSB. If you’d like to receive our Wednesday Word to the Wise in your inbox, subscribe here

In response to the all the attention on M&A in the Montney lately, we published an overview of the Montney play last week focusing on ownership, production history, and liabilities in the region around Dawson Creek (BC). This week, we wanted to leverage XI Technologies’ drilling data to give an overview of drilling trends throughout the entire play.

Knowing the players in the area is critical. As can be seen in the graph below, we clearly recognize Ovintiv as the dominant entity over the past 5 years. The four most active operators drilling for Montney production (Ovintiv, Tourmaline, Seven Generations, and ARC) have been consistent in their commitment to Montney development.

Looking at the last 10 years of activity (including two major economic swings), it becomes a bit easier to identify the newer players, as well as those who’ve withdrawn or shifted focus away from Montney over time. To get a better sense of how drilling operations have shifted in recent years, let’s drill down a bit more into the data.

After answering the “who”, next let’s answer the “where”. The Montney play has a wide reach, spanning from NE BC to central AB. When talking “Montney drilling”, what areas are most active?

The infographic below tells us that the bulk of Montney drilling is happening in the Heritage field, followed by Northern Montney, Kakwa, and Elmworth.

Now it’s time for the “what”. Let’s look deeper at information that tells us more about the drills themselves. Canada’s oil and gas sector is internationally admired for its innovation in well construction; much of which is showcased in Montney drilling. As illustrated below, companies continue to extend their reach (pun intended) as they drill deeper, more complex wells year-over-year.

Interesting to note that since the peak of Montney drilling in 2017, we see well counts decline, but overall meters drilled hasn’t declined at nearly the same rate. This is purely on account of efficient engineering and program design. It’s far more cost effective to recover Montney resources with less wells, but at what risk? Drilling to these depths requires considerable engineering, and proper planning.

Click here to view a free and interactive dashboard with the above data on the Montney, including heat maps not shown in this article.

If you would like to learn how data can aide your research in various areas throughout Western Canada, we invite you to attend an upcoming webinar. Register today for Take Your M&A Scoping to the Next Level on March 18 or Analyzing the Montney on March 23.

To learn more about how XI’s OffsetAnalyst software can help you improve drilling research and performance, contact XI Technologies.