Midland Basin Playbook

The Midland Basin encompasses a 13,000 square mile area of West Texas. It contains all or parts of 20 counties in West Texas, ranging from Terry and Lynn on the north to Crockett and Schleicher on the south. Much of the tight oil development in the Midland Basin has occurred in the center of the basin, primarily in Martin, Midland, Upton, Howard, Glasscock, and Reagan counties at depths of 7,000 feet (ft) to 10,000 ft.

Texas’s Midland Basin, part of the larger Permian Basin, which spans parts of western Texas and eastern New Mexico, is made up of many stacked hydrocarbon-bearing formations. Production increases from the Permian Basin (particularly the Midland Basin) contributed to record U.S. crude oil and natural gas production in 2019

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The Midland Basin’s large tight oil resources exist in three major Permian-age formations, the Spraberry tight sand, the Wolfcamp Shale (Benches A, B, and C), and the Cline Shale (also called Bench D of the Wolfcamp Shale).

Midland Basin production reached a low of 3.8 million b/d of crude oil and 4.9 Bcf/d of dry natural gas in May 2020, but production has since increased. In January 2021, the Midland Basin generated 1.6 million b/d of crude oil, which was 5% more than its May 2020 low but 10% less than its monthly peak reached in February 2020. By comparison, Midland natural gas production peaked in late 2020 and reached an all-time high of 5.8 Bcf/d in October 2020, when new pipeline takeaway capacity out of the Permian Basin entered service.

At the end of July 2021, 107 drilling rigs and 28 fracking crews operated in the Midland Basin, according to Enverus Inc. At that time, the Midland Basin accounted for 44% of all rigs operating in the Permian Basin and 22% of all rigs operating in the United States. The Midland Basin’s rig count fell to as low as 58 active rigs last summer, when low crude oil prices led to drastic reductions in drilling operations.

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Top 50 Operators in the Midland Basin

Operator Well Permits Pipeline Permits Facility Permits 
Pioneer Natural Resources Company27153158
Diamondback Energy13334157
Endeavor Energy Resources, L.P.911118
XTO Energy Inc.99307
Crownquest Operating, LLC75815
Surge Energy America339828
OVINTIV USA INC.57576
Extex Operating Company0172
Conocophillips Company62521
SM Energy Company487016
APA Corporation28485
Chevron U.S.A. Inc.32563
OXY USA Inc.250022
Laredo Petroleum Inc.31224
Plains All American1190
ENLINK MIDSTREAM SERVICES LLC0164
ENTERPRISE Products1170
Energy Transfer7152
Birch Resources28503
West Texas Gas, Inc.2106
VENCER ENERGY LLC0026
HUNT OIL COMPANY25600
Oryx Midstream087
Hibernia Resources, LLC61016
SCOUT ENERGY MANAGEMENT LLC0022
Earthstone Operating, LLC83111
Callon Petroleum Company18601
SABLE PERMIAN RESOURCES LAND,LLC18700
Henry Resources LLC11407
Summit Petroleum LLC16002
Targa Resources247
RRP OPERATING LLC0015
Lario Oil & Gas Company13300
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation0013
Discovery Natural Resources LLC11701
HIGHPEAK ENERGY HOLDINGS, LLC6606
PERMIAN DEEP ROCK OIL CO., LLC12000
DCP Midstream051
Sabalo Exploration Operating, LLC9601
LAKE CRYSTAL OPERATING LLC050
Black Swan Operating, LLC1009
Sem Operating Company LLC6510
Cogent Midstream040
FDL OPERATING, LLC1330
Navitas Midstream015
PETROLEGACY ENERGY II, LLC5901
Legacy Reserves Operating LP6200
Hannathon Petroleum, LLC6100
BAYSWATER OPERATING COMPANY LLC4101
ROVER OPERATING LLC4900

Operator Details

Diamondback

During the second quarter of 2021, Diamondback drilled 47 gross horizontal wells in the Midland Basin and nine gross horizontal wells in the Delaware Basin. The Company turned 47 operated horizontal wells to production in the Midland Basin, 14 operated horizontal wells to production in the Delaware Basin and four operated horizontal wells in the Williston Basin. The average lateral length for the wells completed during the second quarter was 11,137 feet. Operated completions during the second quarter consisted of 19 Lower Spraberry wells, ten Wolfcamp A wells, nine Middle Spraberry wells, eight Jo Mill wells, six Wolfcamp B wells, five Third Bone Spring wells, two Second Bone Spring wells, two Dean wells, two Bakken wells and two Three Forks wells.

In the first half of 2021, Diamondback drilled 88 gross horizontal wells in the Midland Basin and 17 gross horizontal wells in the Delaware Basin. The Company turned 89 operated horizontal wells to production in the Midland Basin, 39 operated horizontal wells in the Delaware Basin and four operated horizontal wells in the Williston Basin. The average lateral length for wells completed during the first six months of 2021 was 10,729 feet, and consisted of 38 Wolfcamp A wells, 29 Lower Spraberry wells, 15 Middle Spraberry wells, 13 Jo Mill wells, 13 Wolfcamp B wells, eight Second Bone Spring wells, eight Third Bone Spring wells, three Dean wells, two Bakken wells, two Three Forks wells and one Barnett well.

Pioneer

During 2021, the Company plans to operate an average of 22 to 24 horizontal drilling rigs in the Permian Basin, including a one-rig average program in the Delaware Basin and a three-rig average program in the southern Midland Basin joint venture area. The 2021 capital program is expected to place 470 to 510 wells on production. Pioneer expects 2021 oil production of 351 to 366 MBOPD and total production of 605 to 631 MBOEPD.

EnLink Midstream, LLC

The Permian segment continued to see robust producer activity during the first quarter of 2021, particularly in the Midland Basin, although segment profit was adversely impacted by Uri. March 2021 gas gathering and transportation volumes increased by over 12% compared to both December 2020 and January 2021.

On April 30, 2021, EnLink purchased Amarillo Rattler, the owner of a gathering and processing system in the Midland Basin. In connection with the purchase, EnLink entered into an amended and restated gas gathering and processing agreement with Diamondback Energy strengthening EnLink’s acreage dedication position.

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