Get Ready for the Midland Barnett

While we breathlessly await the debut of a new natural gas king, Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest from brainiac Enverus, which provides advanced analytics and intelligence to help oil and gas stakeholders finesse their plans, decisions, and investments going forward. As a bonus prize, the company’s 2024 Outlook Report reveals 10 predictions affecting oil and gas. The first prognosticates OPEC+ output discipline, coupled with slowing U.S. supply growth, will herd crude oil prices toward $90 a barrel. Domestic production this year is set to hit a record 13.2 MMBPD going forward into 2025.

The other nine predictions largely involve the Permian, in terms of lower well costs, inventory, productivity, longer laterals, and M&A. But of special note is Number 9 of the 10—a call out of a relatively untapped Permian formation that lies 1,000’ deeper than oily rockstar Wolfcamp, which could potentially rewrite the basin’s last rites, perhaps delivered way too soon. Enverus says, gets ready for the headlines.

Primarily known for its prolific natural gas output in north central Texas, the Barnett is proving a shapeshifter in West Texas—and according to Enverus, the southwestern extent of the play is set to become the next major producing formation in the Permian. The Midland Barnett is reporting higher oil recoveries and lower breakevens than other secondary zones, while adding more producer inventory for those with deep drilling rights.

Elevation Resources had a hunch about this leg of the Barnett back in 2016 and now operates 53 wells. Continental Resources and Diamond Back Energy are there with a big bag of Cheetos, as is OXY, which recently acquired Midland assets from CrownRock, primarily to gain more access to the Barnett.