Great Western Cuts Drilling and Fracking Time in Half through Twin Rigs, Dual Completions Program

Denver, CO – April, 2021

In the natural gas and oil industry, time is not only money, but a precious commodity that impacts the communities in which we live and work. At Great Western, we value our neighbors, which is why we take pride in implementing innovative programs and new ways to operate efficiently and mindfully.

In 2018, as horizontal wells became more common and the Denver-Julesburg Basin became productive enough to support additional wells, Great Western started using twin drilling rigs on each pad. This initiative increased production and decreased disruption to the surrounding area by ultimately reducing the amount of drilling time onsite by as much as 50%. Each well takes about eight days to drill; depending on the site and number of wells, that could mean our crews are spending four months drilling onsite versus eight months.

This program is unlike any other throughout Colorado; it drastically reduces the impact to nearby communities, increases operational efficiencies, and saves everyone money – further cementing Great Western’s position as an industry-leading innovator in natural gas and oil. 

Watch the video below to see twin-rig drilling in action:

As twin rigs yielded impressive results, we doubled crews by implementing dual completions to further reduce the project timeline. “Well completions” is the process of making a well ready for production after drilling operations conclude and is commonly known as “fracking.”

Dual completions enable us to shorten the time spent in the completions stage in order to move into productions and wrap up operations onsite. With each well averaging 60 fracking stages at one hour per stage, two crews reduce the time spent fracking from an average of 60 hours per well to 30 hours – which adds up in time lost with eight to 20 wells per drilling site. Further, Great Western started fracking four wells between two crews at once in 2019, cutting the overall fracking time in half again, after learning our current frack design had the capacity to frack two wells at the same time.

For some sites, this process can cut fracking time by up to 75%, decreasing disturbances in the area by spending less time operating underground.  

Watch the video below to see the well completions stage that takes place after drilling concludes.

While Great Western is one of the only natural gas and oil companies to implement twin rigs per pad, it was the second company to implement dual completions to reduce time spent onsite.

As part of our core values, we are #CommittedToColorado, and we want to do our best to support our communities and our environment. Through the use of twin rigs and dual completions, we are able to produce our cleanest barrels of oil that will go on to support our schools, communities and local economies. It is for these efforts Great Western is the operator of choice in Colorado.

Great Western Petroleum’s Ivey Pad in Adam’s County, Colorado. March 18, 2021. Photo by Ellen Jaskol.