QEP has a history of utilizing multi-well pads dating back to 2003, creating significant reductions in our surface footprint by allowing us to drill up to 50 wells from a single well pad. We consider it a core competency as 95% of our wells were drilled on multi-well pads in 2015. According to QEP company data, the combination of pad drilling and our ability to drill long horizontal wells has reduced our surface footprint by as much as 87% when compared to vertical drilling by conventional methods.
The practice of placing several wells on one pad reduces our impact on land; reduces the number of rig moves between pads; reduces truck traffic and the need for additional roads; decreases our operating costs; reduces uncertainty involved with the permit process; reduces our impact on wildlife and the communities in which we operate while improving our operational efficiencies.
We also plan our operations to help reduce traffic congestion by transporting water by pipeline and providing our service company personnel with bus service to and from our Pinedale operations in the winter months.
According to QEP company data, the use of multi-well pads reduces the number of rig moves between pads by 83% compared to a vertical development scenario – decreasing the impact of truck traffic on local roads and the environment.
Surface Footprint Comparison Across Industries
A recent study evaluated the footprint of shale gas operations compared with the footprint of other means of delivering a similar quantity of energy. The study concluded that a 10-well shale gas pad required the smallest land area – 700 times smaller than a wind farm and 450 times smaller than a solar park.