Continental sees big target in Three Forks benches

The Bakken-Three Forks play in the Williston basin contained an estimated 903 billion bbl of original oil in place or 57% more than in 2010 when Continental Resources Inc. estimated that the entire field would eventually yield 20 billion bbl of oil and 4 billion boe of natural gas, the company said.

The company raised its estimate of OOIP based on results of its own completions in benches of the Three Forks formation just below the Bakken. In 2010 it assumed 577 billion bbl of OOIP in the Bakken and TF1 formations in North Dakota and Montana.

Continental floated the new estimate after testing its Charlotte 3-22H well in McKenzie County, ND, the first horizontal well to test the Three Forks third bench (TF3). The company was first to demonstrate incremental reserves from TF1 in 2008 and first to establish commercial production from TF2 in 2011 (OGJ Online, May 22, 2008).

The 1,280-acre Charlotte unit is the first unit in the play to have wells producing from three separate horizons, the Middle Bakken, TF2, and TF3.

The Charlotte 3-22H well went to 21,324 ft measured depth including a 9,701-ft lateral. It flowed 953 b/d of oil equivalent from the TF3 at 1,700 psi on a 28/64-in. choke in its initial 1-day test period.

Completed with Continental’s standard 30-stage fracture stimulation, it has been producing for 15 days with performance that compares favorably with other TF1 and TF2 wells, the company said. Continental has a 91% working interest in the well.

If Charlotte 3-22H continues to perform in line with the second bench Charlotte 2-22H, it will be the first well to establish commercial production in the third bench. Charlotte 3-22H is the first well in a 14-well program that Continental plans to complete by the end of 2013 to test productivity of the second, third, and fourth benches of the Three Forks over a broad area of the play.

Contact Alan Petzet at alanp@ogjonline.com.

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