Reeves County, Tx - General Discussion


Kathy… In that case they will HAVE TO pursue you for you to sign a common ROW agreement paying the surface owners per their percentage owned based on a common price ($300/rod I believe you mentioned). Otherwise the other owners will have to form a Surface Owners Legal Consortium to negotiate a common ROW payment and its division.

Good Luck!!

ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx :sunglasses::rofl::ribbon::heart:


I was looking at the completion reports for our two wells and noticed that there is a “choke size” mentioned. Checking on other completed Noble wells, I saw that the choke size varied. Ours was 32 but wells with higher initial production had higher numbered choke sizes. Wells with lower initial production had lower numbered choke sizes. In an effort to understand what that meant, I went searching.

I came across a post on a site called by someone who is respected on that site and seems to be an industry insider. He wrote about choke sizes and initial production. He pointed out that different choke sizes would produce different initial production numbers, and so those numbers were not necessarily of great importance. In addition, wells with high initial production numbers could sometimes peter out pretty quickly while wells with lower numbers have sometimes been known to produce more in the long run.

So then I began to wonder why oil companies are required to post initial production numbers if the numbers don’t necessarily reflect the well’s potential production. And I also wondered if oil companies play games with those numbers in an effort to mislead other companies about the well’s potential production.


Melissa, If you have the mineral rights, they go with the gas/oil production-below the surface of the earth. Cell phone towers would go with the surface rights. Originally at patent, the mineral and surface rights went together (called “fee simple”). Over time, the mineral rights are sometimes severed from the surface and sold to someone else.


That sometimes happens but there’s an oil and gas domestic data base that has been building since the early 1930s for all the producing formations across the USA for the petroleum engineers to hone their estimates before drilling, then refine production along expected graphs. They adjust the choke settings along an optimum production projection graph and that keeps a lot of people employed and busy executing those settings. Choke settings are in 64ths of an inch…and internally a choke is just a big needle valve…the needle seats in a tapered metal seat to regulate the flow. The materials have to be very very hard or the choke will ‘cut out’…abrasion will cause the settings to not be accurate. So, it’s not unusual to have a roustabout gang out on the well shutting the well in and changing the choke…putting on a new one…several times in the life of the well’s production.
The gang also does the maintenance on high pressure separators which separates the gas from any liquids produced, flow lines connecting the well to a tank battery and meter runs connecting the well to the gas gathering pipeline where everything is metered and tracked.

ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx :sunglasses::rofl::ribbon::heart:


Thanks for the explanation, Lawrence. It leads to another question. Is production adjusted by anything in addition to the choke? I mean, is the well simply flowing or shut in? Production from wells can be high one month, much lower the next month, and then higher again. How is that accomplished?


Flowing wells have a static bottom hole pressure from gas cap in the formation as well as the brine water drive in the formation. The choke setting allows a set amount of gas and liquids to come to the surface into the gathering system. As the well ‘clears its throat’ by bringing the brine or frac water to the surface it frees more gas that comes to the surface and the well produces more gas that month. But treatments on the well to stimulate production may temporarily force the well to flow less while it brings more produced water to the surface from the formation…and the adjustment of that flow by the choke. You open the choke up all the way and let the well clear itself to flow its maximum, then throttle it back with the choke to closely follow the engineering projections of optimum flow rates.
Pumping wells are regulated in addition to a choke by varying the strokes per minute of the pumping unit and automation controlled pumping time. When the pumping unit is not pumping, the well is allowed to bring more oil and natural gas to the bore to be gathered by the rod pump and brought to the surface. Submersible pumps are also used in wells to bring out high volumes of produced brine and oil from the formation and can stimulate greater gas production as well. Lots of these horizontal gas wells have submersible pumps in them to stimulate them to flow more brine and oil/condensate from the formation and thereby stimulate more gas flow.
Hope that helps you mineral owners to understand how production of flowing and pumping wells in the oil and gas industry works.
There used to be a self paced Petroleum Engineering course offered by Profit Engineering Courses that AMOCO Production Company I worked for in Wink, Tx sent me through as part of my employment with them. It covered flowing, pumping wells, gas lift and rod pump efficiencies, gas and crude oil refinery operation/maintenance…etc,etc. In addition to hands on experience, I got the book learning as well. AMOCO did good for me and that’s why I’m partial to Apache Corporation who AMOCO became.

ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx :sunglasses::ribbon::heart::rofl:


Liz…you stimulated my memory of the Profit Petroleum Engineering courses I took with AMOCO back in the mid 1970s…so I looked it up to see if they were still in business. They’ve changed their name…but…you can access their Petroleum Engineering courses at: PetroAcademy Blended Learning

Taking their courses specific to the type of producing wells and refineries on your property will make you a better mineral and surface rights owner and increase the effectiveness of your communications through a lawyer with Exploration/Production companies operating on your property.

ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx :sunglasses::gift::gift::gift::ribbon::heart::rofl:


Thank you, Lawrence. That explanation was excellent! Explained a lot and answered so many questions.

And thanks for linking the PetroAcademy. Interesting courses though maybe a bit pricey for a layman/dabbler like me. :smile:


Liz…Yes the courses are expensive if you go to their campus locations and listen to their instructor…but, I think they also have the ‘canned lectures’ online for a lot less. Either way, the schools are raking in a fortune from the wannabe students, but heck, you are in the oilfield so you must be rich. You can afford it!

ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx :sunglasses::rofl::ribbon::heart:


I have also taken several Petroskills (PetroAcademy)courses. Pricey, but taught by some of the best in the business.


Lawrence, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy reading what you have been writing on many different subjects related to Reeves. I am learning so much from you, Clint and others. My family owns the surface and minerals: 104.39 acres, more or less, East part of the North Middle part, Section 3, Byron Johnson Survey, Reeves County, Texas (Toyah), 5/6 undivided interests. I have inherited the administration responsibility. We have had leases in the past and hope to have more go forward. Are you familiar with our location and can you me tell about activities in the area, and companies who might want to lease from us? Thank you for your generosity in sharing information. Susan Boykin Map.pdf (1.4 MB) Plat - blocks.pdf (800.2 KB)


Susan…yes ma’am, Apache is all over that area and is not only drilling but building pipelines and cryo plants in that area. Your land is north of the retaining wall on the north side of Toyah and east of county road 221/222. There’s a 6 inch produced brine water line from a Concho Oil & Gas lease northwest of you that either comes across your land or very near it going to the Toyah East Saltwater Disposal well on east 2nd street. I know a landman who would like to buy your land for the surface and if you have minerals he would make you an offer on those as well. Otherwise I would hit up Apache, COG, Chevron, and Diamondback about a lease. There should be some more gas gathering lines crossing there going to the Eagleclaw recompressor/NGL plants east of Toyah. I think there were 5 pipelines going there the last time I drove up there and looked around.

ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx :sunglasses::rofl::ribbon::heart:



Lawrence gave you some great detail on chokes and control of production. You also asked if companies ever play around with what is shown on their completion reports. For quite a few operators I’d say the answer is yes.

Some may maximize those initial numbers to make a strong impression in their next quarterly earnings report or analyst conference call, while others may delay filing anything (which RRC seems lax in enforcing) or purposely keep their initial test numbers way below a new well’s maximum, or even reasonable, potential rate if they are still gathering leases in an area. It probably doesn’t apply to all of them but I think the way those initial numbers are handled can vary between companies, different producing areas or stages of development in a given field.

In any case the initial 30 or 90 production volumes are probably a more reliable indicator of a wells ultimate potential than whatever is shown in that 24 hour completion report.


When you get to the point that you are thinking about lease wording, I can share that I have worked with Wade Caldwell out of San Antonio and been very satisfied. He is an experienced Oil and Gas Attorney who is quite knowledgeable of what is happening in Reeves and posts on this website quite often.


You betcha, Lawrence! We’re using C-notes for wallpaper. :wink::grin:


If Noble did that, I’m afraid it didn’t help them much! Its last quarterly report was bad and the company is laying off the Permian until more pipelines come online in the next year to 18 months. (Noble is our lessee.)

Thank you for the additional info. Had a gut feeling that those numbers would be played with sometimes.


We can second that recommendation. We’ve been very happy with the lease he negotiated.


Agree with hiring Wade Caldwell and the attorneys in the firm.



I owe you an apology. I assumed you were a man and the M stood for Mike or something. Clint advises me your name is Martha and you are a lady petroleum geologist…I’m impressed. More power to you on this forum!

ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx :sunglasses::rofl::ribbon::heart::gift:


No problem. Happens all the time.