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Exceptional Service Quality Helps Operator Realize Efficiency Gains


A South Texas operator had a 14-well drilling program in the Eagle Ford Play. The wells were located near Tilden in McMullen County and Yorktown in DeWitt County. These oil wells included depths up to 11,000 ft with the horizontal sections ranging from 8,000 to 9,000 ft. Downhole temperatures ranged from 280 to 310°F, and working pressures were from 6,300 to 6,700 psi.

The operator was not satisfied with the performance and cost of his current provider and wanted to try a new option. Panther worked with the operator to devise a plan for the 14 wells including a solids control program that utilized a combination of an open pit and a closed-loop system and all haul-off and disposal services.

This was the first time the operator and Panther worked together. While the previous provider’s performance was satisfactory, the operator was seeking better performance and lower cost for this new program.

Working together for the first time meant a learning curve for both Panther and the operator. But as the project progressed, the operator stated that all operational “bumps” were resolved by the third well.

“We are known for pushing the envelope on drilling rates and Panther kept up. Drilling rates were 200 ft per hour in the lateral, with no issues.”

Increased service quality results in efficiency gains

According to the operator, many individual service quality aspects were enhanced or introduced by Panther. When combined, they created substantial improvements in efficiency that resulted in a highly successful project compared to previous operations.

These included:Z3C65082

  • Single-point invoicing Panther provided a single-point invoicing process to eliminate time spent by the company man reviewing/questioning each invoice. This resulted in a significant time savings for the operator, who stated, “This was a load off of me and the operation. Now we can focus on drilling the well.”

  • Collaboration Working with a new vendor means new issues to resolve. Panther and the operator collaborated to work through problems that arose, with a tighter collaboration compared to previous vendors. The operator stated, “We worked with the solids control expert who was directly involved with the operations.”

  • Daily reporting The operator received daily reports on time, which was an issue with past vendors. The Panther reporting method allows the operator to compare drilling progress and performance from one day to the next, which was not possible before. The operator stated, “We are known for pushing the envelope on drilling rates and Panther kept up. Drilling rates were 200 ft per hour in the lateral, with no issues.” Fast drilling times allowed the operator to continue the vigorous drilling program uninterrupted. “Poor data is useless. The confidence in the data allowed sound engineering decisions at the wellsite and kept the well progressing as planned.”

  • Knowledgeable crew People performance was exceptional compared to previous suppliers. Panther’s knowledge of the solids control equipment meant no delays waiting on solids disposal and allowed the operator to keep to the drilling plan. As stated by the operator, “Quality personnel is key to a successful solids control operation. We worked together well. With their expertise in solids control, Panther kept the mud clean for optimum performance.”

  • Haul-off and disposal meant the operator did not have to deal with issues of trucking and the associated paperwork and permitting. There was no need for the operator to review each trucking invoice. Panther also worked with the operator to decide what disposal site to use. A nearby disposal site was selected, and Panther devised the best disposal option per load compared to previous companies with a cost per load that fit the drilling budget. Panther ensured all site and trucking company permits were in order.

"Quality personnel is key to a successful solids control operation. We worked together well. With their expertise in solids control, Panther kept the mud clean for optimum performance."


The operator reported the program was successful, with three wells currently producing and the others coming on line soon. “For surface drilling, we were able to batch-drill five wells in four to five days, with each well set at 2,500 ft with no slowdown. We set the remaining wells at 6,000 ft in about a week. We averaged two wells per day on one pad and one well per day on the other pad.” The operator expects this to be the start of a good relationship with Panther on future projects.


  • Professional wellsite staff knew the equipment and the operation and helped keep the job on schedule.

  • Solids control kept up with drilling plan, allowing aggressive drilling rates.

  • Daily reporting; new method was a great improvement. Sound data allowed operator to keep to plan.

  • Not dealing with a trucking company and all the associated headaches was a big plus for the operator, allowing better focus on drilling the well.

  • After the initial start-up phase, invoicing became uniform and consistent, with no “extras” or additional charges.

  • No safety incidents. All wellsite activities were executed safely.