Batson Dome Field

Vanguard / Batson Dome - Operation Facts

  • Size of Vanguard leases: 500 acres
  • Working interest: 90% - 100%
  • Well Cost: $600,000 per well/10 days to drill and complete
  • Producing wells drilled to date: 7
  • New wells yet to be drilled w/ IPO proceeds: 5
  • Adding leases for additional drilling
  • New 3-D seismic analysis of entire lease area

About Batson Dome Field

The Batson Dome Field is located in Hardin County, Texas approximately 50 miles northeast of Houston, and has multiple production zones. The oil produced from the field is light, sweet, high-quality crude with a specific gravity of 21 to 35 degrees. This field lies in flat wooded areas which allow easy access for the drilling and maintenance of wells. There are no significant man-made improvements other than oil wells and related equipment. There are no nearby residences.

The Batson Dome Field draws oil and negligible amounts of gas from an anhydrite and limestone reservoir in a caprock structure above a salt dome in the Miocene and Oligocene formations. Along with three other highly prolific salt dome fields—Spindletop, Sour Lake, and Humble—the Batson Dome Field helped to establish the basis of the Texas oil industry when these shallow fields produced the first Texas Gulf Coast oil.

A salt dome is a mushroom-shaped structure made of salt, commonly having an overlying caprock. Salt domes form as a consequence of the relative buoyancy of salt when buried beneath other types of sediment. The salt flows upward to form salt domes, sheets, pillars and other structures. Oil is commonly found in and around salt domes due to the abundance and variety of traps created by salt movement and the excellent sealing capabilities of salt.

The Batson Dome Field was first drilled in the early 1900s. The salt in the Batson Dome rises to a depth of approximately 800 feet at the cap of the dome, where the first oil was discovered in very shallow wells. Alternating sands and shales form oil reservoirs in the sand dipping away from the cap on all sides of the dome down to a depth of over 7,000 feet. The field has produced oil and a negligible amount of gas from an anhydrite and limestone reservoir in the cap as well as the Miocene and Frio Sands at depths of 400-4,000 feet and the Yegua Sands below 7,000 feet. Since no secondary or enhanced recovery has been attempted over the years, we believe there are opportunities for recovery of substantial undrained reserves through the drilling of new wells with closer spacing and the re-entry of old well bores in currently producing areas.

As of December 15, 2011, we had drilled and completed four wells in the Batson Dome Field. Our share of the costs of drilling and completing these wells was approximately $2,000,000. As of December 15, 2011, these wells were collectively producing approximately 120 barrels per day of oil. Each well has shown multiple potentially productive zones at various depths. In the event production from one zone falls off materially, we have the opportunity to open another zone to compensate for the decline.

The completion of oil wells in an established area, such as the Batson Dome Field, is, to a certain extent, less risky than drilling for oil in unproven areas where uncertainty exists as to whether relevant amounts of oil exist at all. However, the process of completing an oil well is nevertheless associated with considerable risk.

We plan on drilling and, if warranted, completing additional wells in the Batson Dome Field. The wells will be drilled to a depth of approximately 3,000 to 4,000 feet to the Frio formation. Each well will take approximately ten days to drill and complete. Our share of the drilling and completion costs for each well is estimated to be approximately $550,000. We will have a 90% working interest (63%-67.5% net revenue interest) in any wells we drill in the Batson Dome Field.