More operators join Williston basin Bakken oil hunt

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 28 -- Exploration for oil and natural gas in the Mississippian Middle Bakken formation in the Williston basin is drawing more operators.

Berry Petroleum Co., Bakersfield, Calif., said it plans to acquire and exploit a large acreage block with an unidentified industry partner. The company holds interests in 20,000 acres in North Dakota and was acquiring interests in another 100,000 gross acres in late June with closing set for the third quarter of 2005. Overall outlay is $9 million.

The acreage covers several contiguous blocks on the eastern flank of the Nesson anticline, Berry said.

The play is oil productive in Montana and is the object of numerous drilling programs in western North Dakota (OGJ Online, June 3, 2005).

Innova Exploration Ltd., Calgary, plans to participate in 18 horizontal Bakken wells in southeastern Saskatchewan, where its Bakken land position exceeds 130 sq miles.

A dozen or more wells have been drilled in North Dakota, but results are not widely known because the state allows operators to hold data confidential for 6 months following completion. The Bakken lies at 9,000-10,000 ft in the US and is slightly shallower in Canada.

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