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Operations

Matador Operations

Overview

Matador Resources Company’s focus is to create a risk balanced portfolio of exploration opportunities for oil and natural gas in unconventional resource plays, supplemented with exploration for more conventional targets. We concentrate our exploration efforts primarily on known hydrocarbon-producing areas with well-established production histories offering the potential for multiple-zone completions. During the last few years, we have concentrated on the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas and more recently on the Permian Basin in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas.

Our principal areas of operation consist of:

Southeast New Mexico and West Texas

DELAWARE AND MIDLAND BASINS

The Permian Basin in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas is a mature exploration and production province with extensive developments in a wide variety of petroleum systems resulting in stacked target horizons in many areas. Historically, the majority of development in this basin has focused on relatively conventional reservoir targets, but the combination of advanced formation evaluation, 3-D seismic technology, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology is enhancing the development potential of this basin, particularly in the organic rich shales, or source rocks, of the Wolfcamp and in the low permeability sand and carbonate reservoirs of the Bone Spring, Avalon and Delaware formations. We believe these formations, which have been typically considered to be low quality rocks because of their low permeability, are strong candidates for horizontal drilling and intense hydraulic fracturing techniques.

In the western part of the Permian Basin (also known as the Delaware Basin), the Lower Permian age Bone Spring (also called the Leonardian) and Wolfcamp formations are several thousand feet thick and contain stacked layers of shales, sandstones, limestones and dolomites. These intervals represent a complex and dynamic submarine depositional system that also includes organic rich shales that are proven to be the source rocks for oil and natural gas produced in the basin. Historically, production has come from the “conventional” reservoirs; however, we and other industry players have realized that the source rocks also have sufficient porosity and permeability to be commercial reservoirs. In addition, the source rocks are interbedded with reservoir layers that have filled with hydrocarbons, both of which can produce significant volumes of oil and natural gas when connected by horizontal wellbores with multi-interval hydraulic fracture treatments. Particularly in the Delaware Basin, there are multiple horizontal targets in a given area that exist within the several thousand feet of hydrocarbon bearing layers that make up the Bone Spring and Wolfcamp plays. Multiple horizontal drilling and completion targets are being identified and targeted by companies, including us, throughout the vertical section including the Delaware, Avalon, Bone Spring (First, Second and Third Sand) and several intervals within the Wolfcamp shale, often identified as Wolfcamp “A” through “D”.

Matador Operations Southeast
Matador Operations South Texas

South Texas

EAGLE FORD SHALE AND OTHER FORMATIONS

The Eagle Ford shale extends across portions of South Texas from the Mexican border into East Texas forming a band roughly 50 to 100 miles wide and 400 miles long. The Eagle Ford Shale is organically rich, calcareous shale, in places transitioning to an organic, argillaceous lime-mudstone. It lies between the deeper Buda limestone and the shallower Austin Chalk formation. Most, if not all, of the oil found in the Austin Chalk and Buda formations is generally believed to be sourced from the Eagle Ford shale. In the prospective areas for the Eagle Ford shale, the interval averages 200 feet thick, is found at depths ranging from as shallow as 4,000 feet to as deep as 13,000 feet, and in much of the deeper portions of the play is over-pressured. The Eagle Ford shale has a total organic carbon content of 1% to 7% that is comparable to the Haynesville shale, and is generally porous, with core-measured porosities ranging between 4% and 14%.

Most of the current Eagle Ford shale activity is concentrated in Atascosa, Bee, DeWitt, Dimmit, Frio, Gonzales, Karnes, La Salle, Lavaca, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Webb, Wilson and Zavala Counties in South Texas.  The first horizontal wells drilled specifically for the Eagle Ford shale were drilled in 2008, leading to a discovery in La Salle County.  Since then, the play has expanded significantly across a large portion of South Texas.  We believe the majority of our Eagle Ford acreage is prospective predominantly for oil or liquids-rich natural gas with condensate.  In addition, we believe portions of this acreage may also be prospective for other targets, such as the Austin Chalk, Buda, Edwards and Pearsall formations, from which we would expect to produce predominantly oil and liquids.

Northwest Louisiana and East Texas

HAYNESVILLE SHALE AND OTHER FORMATIONS

The Haynesville shale is an organically rich, over-pressured marine shale found below the Cotton Valley and Bossier formations and above the Smackover formation at depths ranging from 10,500 to 13,500 feet across a broad region throughout Northwest Louisiana and East Texas, including Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto and Red River Parishes in Louisiana and Harrison, Rusk, Panola and Shelby Counties in Texas. The Haynesville shale has a typical thickness ranging from 100 to 300 feet. Total organic carbon ranges from 0.5% to 5.0%, with core-measured porosities from 3% to 15%. The Haynesville shale produces primarily dry natural gas with almost no associated liquids.

Operators are typically drilling 4,500 to 5,000 feet horizontal laterals and applying hydraulic fracture stimulation in multiple stages along the entire length of the horizontal laterals to complete the wells and establish production. Although initial production rates vary widely across the play, initial production rates as high as 20.0 to 25.0 MMcf per day of natural gas have been reported by operators from horizontal wells drilled and completed in the Haynesville shale.

Prior to initiating natural gas production from the Haynesville shale in 2009, almost all of our production and reserves in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas were attributable to wells producing from the Cotton Valley formation. We own almost all of the shallow rights from the base of the Cotton Valley formation to the surface under our acreage in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas.

All of the shallow rights underlying our acreage in our Elm Grove/Caspiana properties in Northwest Louisiana, approximately 10,000 gross and net acres, is held by existing production from the Cotton Valley formation or the Haynesville shale. The Cotton Valley formation was the primary producing zone in the Elm Grove field prior to discovery of the Haynesville shale. The Cotton Valley formation is a low permeability natural gas sand that ranges in thickness from 200 to 300 feet and has porosities ranging from 6% to 10%.