Three Forks rates rise as drilling costs fall

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 15
-- Operators are climbing the learning curve in the Williston basin by drilling long lateral wells in the Bakken and Three Forks formations with as many as 24 frac stages.

One operator, Brigham Exploration Co., Austin, Tex., said it is continuing to see drilling and completion costs fall.

Initial rate at the Strobeck 27-34, in the Ross area of Mountrail County, ND, is 1,788 b/d of oil and 1.4 MMcfd of gas from a long lateral in Three Forks. Brigham Exploration completed the well with 20 frac stimulation stages, 18 of which were effective.

Strobeck 27-34, which appears to have had the basin’s second highest initial rate for a Three Forks completion, cost $3.9 million, 33% lower than company late 2008 authority for expenditures at similar wells.

“The Strobeck 27-34 results also confirm the core taken from our Anderson 28-33, which indicated that both the upper Three Forks and middle Bakken formations were heavily saturated with oil,” the company said.

Anderson is 1 mile west of Strobeck and about a mile southwest of Brigham Exploration’s Carkuff-22 1H, which went on production at 1,110 b/d of oil after 12 frac stages in a short lateral.

The company recently drilled the lateral of its Anderson 28-33 on a 1,280-acre unit in the Ross area to 19,900 ft in the Bakken and ran 24 swell packers to bottom. A 24-stage frac operation, believed to be a record number for the basin, is planned in early August.

Brigham Exploration has spud the Brad Olson-1H 9-16 well in the Rough Rider area of Williams County, ND, and plans 24 frac stages in an intended 20,000-ft Bakken lateral at an estimated cost of $6.25 million, 34% less than 2008 AFEs.

Brigham Exploration controls 35,200 net acres in the Ross area and 100,345 net acres in the Rough Rider area. It is participating in 20 Mountrail County Bakken wells operated by others in various stages, including 12 already on production.

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