How Long do Oil and Gas Wells Produce?

The decisions investors have to make regarding mineral rights investing would be much easier if we knew exactly how long wells would produce and how much they would produce during a certain timeframe. The reality is there are no guarantees, which is why investing in oil and gas minerals can be risky. However, there’s plenty of history to help determine how long a particular well should produce. And with the technology we have available today, it’s a little easier to predict the lifespan of a well than it was a few decades ago. Here’s what you need to know about how long oil and gas wells produce and how it relates to oil and gas mineral interest.

Producing Wells Can Last For Decades

The McClintock No.1, 70 miles North of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the oldest and still producing oil well after 153 years of production. It is now being operated and kept alive by the Drake Oil Museum. This is obviously a rare case. For all other wells, it is common to see oil and gas production to last between 15 and 50 years. Oil and gas wells are typically ‘shut-in’ by the operator when the well is no-longer economic – expenses of extracting the oil are higher than current market prices for the commodity. Nevertheless, with new technology, and fracking techniques oil and gas exploration and production companies have extended the life of wells that were at the end of their lifecycle.

(also known as a christmas tree)

What Happens When Production Stops?

Once the oil and gas minerals produced starts slowing down (the natural pressure of the well decreases), experts will consider replacing the well with a pump-jack to force the oil and gas to the surface.

The production of the oil and gas will diminish at some point, but the hope is it will continue for decades. However, once the well is no longer profitable, the well gets plugged and the property gets restored to its original condition to the extent it’s possible.

Pump Jack

If your mineral property is located within a Shale Basin, you could see one well at first. But, some mineral properties are so rich in oil and gas that you could find more 10 wells drilled on one location. 

How Investors Benefit From Producing Oil and Gas Wells

Investors who are involved in mineral rights investing want producing wells on their property for obvious reasons. The more oil and gas minerals that are produced from their property, the more money they make from their mineral rights. This is why it’s so important to take your time with mineral rights investing. It’s a risky endeavor, but with the right amount of knowledge and expertise, you can maximize the benefits and turn a significant profit along the way.

Eckard Land & Acquisition studies oil and gas minerals intensely and is focused on helping investors maximize their mineral rights. Everyone has their own strategies and risk tolerance when it comes to investing, so we will work with you to help you meet your goals. Sometimes a significant amount of profit can be earned in a few years, while others require patience to make a larger profit over a longer period of time. To learn more about our expertise and how we can help you strategize your mineral rights investments, contact us today.