BAKKEN briefs

Nonoperated Bakken assets trade hands

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to sell the majority of its non-operated Bakken properties to Natural Resource Partners, LP. The asset, which consists of 13,500 net Bakken acres, was sold for $35.3 million. Natural Resource Partners also will assume an estimated $8.1 million in authorizations for expenditure from 22 wells that are producing, have recently been drilled or completed, or that Abraxas has elected to participate in. Closing is scheduled for the third quarter of 2013, the company said in a press release.

Open season launched for new Bakken line

Koch Pipeline Co. LP will conduct Phase I of an open season for the proposed Dakota Express Pipeline, which will transport Bakken crude from western North Dakota to Hartford, Ill., and Patoka, Ill. The company also intends to explore a connection at Patoka to the Eastern Gulf Crude Access Pipeline, which would be capable of delivering Bakken crude to eastern US Gulf Coast refineries, according to a company press release. The proposed pipelined would begin service in 2016 with an expected initial capacity of approximately 250,000 b/d of crude oil. Part of the plan includes reversing the flow of the Wood River Pipeline, which historically has transported crude from Hartford, Ill., to St. Paul, Minn. Phase I of the open season began July 1, 2013, and will last 45 days.

Bakken completions down due to weather

Drilling rig counts were steady in North Dakota from March through May, which ended at 187. Completions dropped by 28 to 119 from March to April. According to the Director's Cut published by Lynn Helms, director, NDIC Department of Mineral Resources, weather was the limiting factor. Extreme cold in April shut down 80% of the state highways in North Dakota on Apr. 15, 2013, and May turned out to be one of the wettest months on record. The North Dakota Industrial Commission estimated that 490 wells were waiting on completion services at the end of April, which was an increase of 50 wells from the previous month. No further updates were available as of the end of June.

QEP reports Williston pad drilling success

QEP Resources Inc. has turned to sales its first four-well pad on the recently acquired South Antelope property in the Williston basin in North Dakota. The four wells had an average 24-hr gross initial production rate of 3,598 boe/d. This includes the first two QEP-operated Bakken formation wells completed at South Antelope, which had average 24-hr initial production rates of 4,174 boe/d, the company said in a press release. The company also has completed nine new wells on two multiwell pads on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. QEP said a fifth rig was moving onto location on the South Antelope property, which it acquired from Helis for $1.3 billion in late 2012. The company expected to spud the first well on this multiwell pad by mid-June.

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