USGS Map with shaleprofile.com overlay
18,000 HZ well bores have been drilled in the Delaware Basin the past 7-8 years and the cumulative production from these wells is a little less than 4 billion barrels. The USGS suggested in 2017 that there was 43 billion barrels of technically "recoverable" oil in the basin.
To recover that imaginary oil it will then take over 200,000 more HZ wells. Where are they going to put them?
The play is pretty much entirely now delineated within the boundaries of the USGS assessment area. Every Bone Springs bench and every Wolfcamp bench in the four major counties producing in the Basin are already showing signs of declining well productivity. Move west into Culberson County where initial GOR's are high, and HZ wells look like Apache's, Alpine High fiasco.
Move south into Pecos County and your moving into "Waterworld" where Pioneer Resources just fled.
Scott Sheffield, left, high-tailing it out of the Delaware Basin.
Money can't fix everything. Because some estimate there is a bunch of oil out there in West Texas, deep in the dark, where nobody can see, does NOT mean it will ever come out of the ground. In the end, Mother Nature ALWAYS wins out. She is already exerting Her ultimate authority in the tight oil phenomena. She is going to leave a lot of folks woefully unprepared for a difficult future.
graphics: shaleprofile.com, realized production data filed with State regulatory agencies