The history of this project goes back to the early boom U.S. oil period of the 1970s following the discovery of the giant Pearsall Field in South Texas through Giddings Field in the central part of Texas to the Brookland Field in East Texas. Early drilling within the Austin Chalk focused on simple, vertical wells that drained oil and gas from the local fracture systems near the well. In the 1970s, hydraulic fracturing of the reservoir was initiated, which enhanced and connected these fracture systems to ultimately create a larger drainage area. A second advance in oil and gas production arrived in 1984, with the advent of horizontal drilling. First utilised in Pearsall and Giddings fields to produce oil and gas from the Austin, this new technique allowed for the drainage of multiple vertical fracture systems, thus enhancing the ultimate recovery from a single well from three to five times that of a comparable vertical well.
It is only now with the advent of being able to develop both extended horizontal drilling [up until about 1989 horizontal drilling was not possible past 1,500 feet due to inefficiencies of drilling tools – most recent drilling advances now allow to approx. 6,000+ feet], and completion techniques from significant shale operations throughout the U.S., that the further economic development of Austin Chalk wells has become more aggressive, both with the recent uplift in oil to above $40, and the prior decline of oil from $100 which had resulted in the driving down of drilling rig costs and associated services by over fifty percent, and the rebalancing of the oil pricing mechanism, which has promoted a resurgence within the Austin Chalk, Eagle Ford Shale and Buda formations.