Bakken Shale

Bakken Shale ImageThe Bakken shale is primarily an oil play. It straddles the US border with Canada and runs through two states – North Dakota and Montana – and two Canadian provinces – Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The US Geological Survey estimates there are 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil in the Bakken, which would make it the largest oil field in the US outside Alaska. The Bakken is located in the Williston Basin, but not all of the basin includes the Bakken.

The Sanish-Three Forks area is located below the Bakken shale zone and is potentially another new oil reservoir. Brigham Exploration Co. has been active in this area. Natural gas is also found in some parts of the Bakken. The USGS estimates there is about 2.0 trillion cubic feet of gas and another 150 million barrels of natural gas liquids. Major players in the Bakken include EOG Resources, Continental Resources, and Enerplus Resources.

Bakken Shale Map

Bakken Shale News

POLICY MUST NOT LAG TECHNOLOGY

Jan 22, 1990 When policy lags technology, destructive confusion can result. It hasn't happened yet, but the petroleum industry has a new set of drilling techniques that might, in some areas, leave policy choking in a cloud of dust. Horizontal drilling is catching on around the world. The basic technology isn't new. But it has been refined by improvements in subtechnologies such as measurement while drilling, downhole motors, and slotted liner completions.

OPERATORS PLAN U.S. DRILLING INCREASE IN 1990

Jan 29, 1990 John C. McCaslin Exploration Editor Operators expect to drill more wells in the U.S. this year than they did in 1989, when crude oil prices increased nearly 21%. The oil industry last year drilled more. wells than the 27,935 completions forecast at midyear but not as many as the 36,500 predicted at the year's start. The average Baker Hughes rig count last year sagged to a modern record low of 869.

U.S. BRIEFS

Feb 12, 1990 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY and American Electric Power Service Corp., Columbus, Ohio, will build a $660 million, cost shared, commercial scale pressurized fluidized bed combustion (PFBC) unit at the Philip Sporn plant in New Haven, W. Va., under DOE's clean coal program. Objective is to demonstrate the feasibility and economics of PFBC technology, which reduces sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, in a plant of at least 330,000 kw capacity.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Feb 19, 1990 The oil spill off California should have no bearing on whether to hold offshore lease sales, says President George Bush (see story, p. 30). He has read a task force's report on controversial California and Florida lease sales and should decide "fairly soon" on their future. Bush said, "The tanker had a hole punched in it, and I see a bunch of guys jumping up and down saying this proves you can't have any offshore drilling...I'm not sure I understand the connection (with) tankers.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Feb 26, 1990 BP is making significant progress on cleanup of the oil spill off Huntington Beach, Calif. (OGJ, Feb. 19, p. 30). It has removed all gross contamination from beaches and all oil from the water. A work force less than one third peak levels at about 300 began fine-polishing cleanup last week.

HORIZONTAL DRILLING SCORES MORE SUCCESSES

Feb 26, 1990 Guntis Moritis Drilling/Production Editor The Journal's second exclusive compilation of horizontal drilling projects under scores that this technology is receiving worldwide acceptance, and the number of wells drilled continues to accelerate rapidly. The following pages document many of the wells drilled in 1989 and the 1990 plans of operating companies.

DOE OUTLINES 18 OIL FIELD RESEARCH PROJECTS

Feb 26, 1990 The U.S. Department of Energy has chosen 18 oil field research projects to receive nearly $8.4 million in federal funding. The projects range from general studies of the geologic makeup of oil reservoirs to use of luminescent bacteria to trace the flow of fluids through an oil bearing formation. They include five projects that will concentrate on fundamental studies of microbial enhanced oil recovery, a technique that uses microorganisms to boost oil production.

U.S. BRIEFS

Mar 5, 1990 EL PASO REFINERY LP is using $127 million in proceeds from a public offering of a 43% limited partnership interest to expand capacity of its 26,000 b/d El Paso refinery to 55,000 b/d. Construction is to start in second quarter 1990.

NORTHERN BORDER CUTS PLAN FOR EXPANSION

Mar 26, 1990 Northern Border Pipeline Co. plans to move ahead with a smaller version of an expansion/extension project that has been under federal regulatory review since 1987. The company plans to file the scaled down project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission May 31 under FERC's expedited certificate procedure. The expedited procedure would allow Northern Border to quickly begin construction if approved. But it means the company would assume all risks if future revenues fail to cover the

BAKKEN DRILLING TO EXPAND

Mar 26, 1990 John McCaslin Exploration Editor Horizontal well economics make the Mississippian Bakken formation, once a bailout zone for wells aimed for Devonian and Ordovician zones, a primary exploration goal in the Williston basin. A horizontal well's cost of nearly double that of a vertical well is more than offset by a doubling of reserves and a fivefold increase in initial Potential test, based on data for Bicentennial field. Last November the scoreboard for horizontal wells drilled to the Bakken

U.S.BRIEFS

Apr 16, 1990 A PARTNERSHIP of Hadson Power Systems, Irvine, Calif., and Westmoreland Energy Inc. began funding $200 million in nonrecourse construction loans for two of four coal burning cogeneration projects in Virginia. The projects will be 70,000 kw units supplying electrical power to Virginia Electric and Power Co. and steam to industrial users.

HORIZONTAL DRILLING FANNING OUT AS TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES AND FLOW RATES JUMP

Apr 23, 1990 G. Alan Petzet Senior Staff Writer Horizontal drilling has become a significant, permanent fixture of the oil and gas industry. Operators, service companies, regulatory agencies, royalty owners, and others are still adjusting their thinking to horizontal from vertical drilling, which most knowledgeable forecasters expect to remain the majority technology. A technological synthesis the past 5 years has transformed horizontal drilling into an integral tool of the industry, even though some

OIL AND BITUMEN FINGERPRINTING IN EXPLORATION

May 7, 1990 Alan R. Daly Chevron Overseas Petroleum Corp. San Ramon, Calif.

HISTORICAL, STRATIGRAPHIC REVIEW OF OIL DEVELOPMENT IN N. DAKOTA

May 14, 1990 Kelly Carlson North Dakota Geological Survey Bismarck, N.D.

DON'T OVERLOOK THE BAKKEN

May 14, 1990 John McCaslin Exploration Editor Horizontal drilling in the Mississippian Bakken formation of the Williston basin has established a new play for the industry. Recent estimates of ultimate recoverable reserves from the current Bakken fairway in North Dakota are as high as several hundred million bbl of oil. The number of successful completions in this play are above 30 at this point. Interest is now moving out into the area up to 35 miles north of the fairway.
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