The Duvernay Play continues to rank as one of the hotter plays in the WCSB with invested operators continuing to develop, and the list of stakeholders continuing to grow. Since 2011, there has been a steady, steep rise in activity. With recovering commodity prices and optimistic projections in 2017, we can anticipate a renewed interest and further investment in new Duvernay wells.

Duvernay production can yield great returns, but the investment is equally substantial.

Source XI Technologies Inc. – Offset Analyst (Based on data current to Nov 2016)

With experience, innovation will follow

The good news:  5 years of development in this play has enabled operators to accrue a great deal of knowledge. Put to good use, that experience is fueling innovation in technology and technique, to improve the economics of drilling Duvernay wells.  This opens new doors for operators that were otherwise unable to justify Duvernay exploration.

The graph below confirms that in the last 3 years, drilling rates have improved by over 53% (from avg 113.13m/day to 173.82m/day), as operators continue to experiment with new technologies and well designs to improve their drilling performance.

Source XI Technologies Inc. – (From 379 wells landed in the Duvernay from Jan 2013 through Nov 2016)

Deeper analysis shows there’s still room to improve

To better understand Duvernay drilling and its challenges, XI teamed up with Shared Earth Solutions Ltd, a Calgary-based subject-matter expert with particular experience in drilling hazard mitigation in Duvernay.

Using the TourXchange database, Shared Earth analyzed over 60,000 North Duvernay drilling records, studying the various pitfalls operators have experienced to date. Here are a few highlights that you may find of interest.

Ireton formation:

Accounts for 17.5% of all NPT (non-productive time) found in this study, with a wide array of problems encountered when drilling through Ireton:  Tight Hole, Stuck Pipe, Wellbore Instability, Well Control, and Mud Losses.

Problems in Duvernay formation:

While most NPT time occurred drilling laterally through Duvernay, it’s interesting to note that 19.9% (912 of 4583 hrs) of Duvernay-related NPT was due to Fishing issues.

Mud losses in surface hole:

While surface hole drilling only accounted for 10% of overall NPT, 455 of the 471 (96.6%) NPT hours at surface were related to fluid loss.


Learn more about Duvernay drilling:

The North Duvernay NPT & Drilling Optimization Analysis highlights several key areas for operators to focus on, providing:

  • Summarized problems/non-productive events, and their relative costs
  • Statistics, broken down by of problem-types and trouble-prone formations
  • An expert review of prevention/mitigation strategies

This 30-page report is exclusively available to TourXchange members.

For more info, please contact XI Technologies:  403-517-0111

To learn more about TourXchange, please visit