One of the fundamental obligations of oil and gas regulatory authorities is to provide each owner with the opportunity to recover the owner’s share of a common subsurface resource. Regulatory authorities typically use a combination of spacing units and target areas to fulfil this obligation. Well spacing is essentially a reservoir engineering tool that uses rock, fluid and producing properties to determine the area that a well can economically drain. Historically in western Canada, the normal spacing unit has been a full section (640 acres or 256 hectares) for gas wells. In Alberta the normal spacing unit has been a quarter section (160 acres or 64 hectares) for oil wells (in Saskatchewan and Manitoba the normal oil spacing has historically been one legal subdivision or lsd (40 acres or 16 hectares)). The different normal spacing unit sizes for natural gas and oil reflect the fact that, all other things being equal, gas moves much more easily than does oil through any particular subsurface reservoir. Whereas spacing units define the number of wells that may be drilled within a given area in a particular pool, target areas define where within the spacing unit a well may be drilled without regulatory restrictions being imposed on the rate of production from the well.
Please log in or become a member.