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Chesapeake Energy Drilled 2015’s Biggest Monster Well

One of the reasons it has taken well over a year to slow U.S. onshore crude oil production is that producers are drilling more wells in locations where they are almost sure to get the highest production. Drilling in these sweet spots maximizes the revenue they receive for their barrels, and with prices so low, more barrels is the only way to make the wells pay enough to be worth drilling in the first place.

An average horizontal well in a shale play like the Bakken or Eagle Ford reaches its peak production within about six months, and then production tails off almost as quickly as it rose. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s drilling production report, an average well in the Bakken shale play has a current initial production (IP) rate (first 30 days) of around 750 barrels a day. In the Eagle Ford, the average IP for a well is around 825 barrels a day.

In 2015, Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) drilled its Burns Ranch M3H well in the Eagle Ford shale and the IP rate on the well was 3,152 barrels of...