Can Horizontal Drilling Impact Vertical Well Production?


XTO began drilling 10 horizontal wells (3 well heads) in a pooled lease in Dec 2017 that pass through half of our vertical lease tract and the last well was expected to be completed in APR 2018. We saw a huge 2 month straight production glitch (50-70% drop from previous monthly low) in our vertical well production for JAN and FEB 2018 with production rebounding in MAR. APR production has still not yet posted on TXRRC

Is it possible this production glitch was caused by horizontal drilling (even though it impacted all 8 vertical wells equally, not just the 4 wells in the vicinity of horizontal well crossing)?

Might there be a need to shut down the vertical wells at some point during the drilling of horizontal wells?

We were previously told by XTO land man that it could be at least 6mo between completion of drilling last horizontal well and perforation/production or realization of royalty income, so I would not expect the drop in vertical production would be from horizontal wells draining the oil reserves as of yet.

Aside from being just one of those odd one time production glitches it might also have something to do with Scout Energy taking over operation of the vertical wells from Linn.

There were similar drops in production of neighboring leases about the same time - some in our horizontal pool and some in a horizontal pool in adjacent section just to the W that just started posting production in MAR 2018. Production glitch affected other well operators in these leases, Endeavor and Pipneer, not just Linn wells. There’s no clear answer looking at neighboring lease production.


Often surrounding wells will be shut-in while a new well is being fractured/completed. It depends on distance both horizontally and vertically as well as the formation type. In some cases the surrounding wells will be competing for production from the same source. In some cases the existing wells will have to have work done to them to return to normal. We also hear about wells being permanatly damaged.
I’ve heard a few completion and petroleum engineers discuss it as well as seen some pretty heated arguments between operators.

Google “Frac Hits” and you will find several articles on it.


Agreed with comment about fracking. We have a well in Kingfisher with fair production but in Feb production decreased drastically while a number of other wells in the area were being fracked. I was told by OEA that production was down to protect the well but they expected production to come back up to normal they just didn’t know when. Basically haven’t received royalties from that well for 3 months. There are also several more well being drilled in the area. Still waiting to see what will happen.