Cunningham Energy Focuses on Shallow Horizontal Oil Wells in WV

Cunningham Energy is a small oil driller based in West Virginia. In 2015, Cunningham struck oil in the Big Injun sandstone formation in Clay County, WV (see Cunningham Strikes Oil in West Virginia’s Big Injun Territory). In 2016, Cunningham announced they would target another shallow formation, the Weir Sand formation, a few layers below the Big Injun (same group of rocks called the Mississippian system), once again looking for oil (see Cunningham Using Horizontal Drilling to Target Weir Sand in WV). Cunningham issued a press release two days ago to announce that its Lions Paw 4-Well Pad, in Clay County, is now producing at a rate of 10,000 plus barrels of oil per month. Normally we don’t cover news from conventional drillers, but Cunningham is interesting for a few reasons. While the rock layers Cunningham targets are layers typically targeted by conventional oil drillers, the lines are beginning to become blurred between conventional and unconventional. Cunninghamton targets shallow layers using horizontal drilling, and they drill increasingly longer laterals. Yet they don’t frack their wells. Correction: They do frack! Cunningham sent us an email to let us know they do use fracking on their shallow, horizontal wells. Is this conventional? Or unconventional? Perhaps we should invent a new word to describe it: biconventional. Drilling with elements of both conventional and unconventional. Here’s the Cunningham announcement that existing wells are pumping oil with impressive numbers. The release also mentions Cunningham’s plans to drill more shallow horizontal wells in both Clay and Kanawha counties this year…

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