South Arkansas – Future Frontier?

By | July 28, 2018

Some interest in south Arkansas seems intriguing. The most unexplored area in Arkansas is the Desha (Dee-Shay) Basin, but there is potential oil or gas there. As time progresses, I think there is opportunity for the frontier explorer.  Meanwhile, several folks have attempted to drill in South Arkansas and the success rate isn’t spectacular but the costs are low.  Horizontal drilling techniques may help exploit these old fields and milk a little more oil from them.

One problem is that there are dozens of poorly documented wells from the 1920s which are encountered unexpectedly. These have to be reentered and plugged with cement or bentonite before proceeding.  The state is a stickler about trying to undo some of the environmental damage that was done almost 100 years ago.  While important, it is often an unexpected expense for the newbie driller coming into the old Smackover play.

With higher oil prices, we may see more development like that in South Arkansas. But the dry gas basins like the Arkoma are pretty much toast. Prices are just too low.  All the play is for sale and again, a pipeline company would be wise to step up and buy while the buying is right. In fact, an electric coop or generator who uses natural gas, could save their customers millions while making a profit themselves.

Finally, there are a few players in S. Arkansas and once one party gets to poking around, there pops up other people working along the edges of that play buying a lease or two as speculation. It is nothing to get excited about but sometimes, these seem to have a life of their own and gets someone else’s attention. So the South (of Arkansas) may rise again and the Smackover see a new round of water-flooding and drilling