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

Bakken likely to be hardest hit by oil-price slump

Feb 10, 2015

Opinions varied among analysts and consultants contacted by UOGR regarding which unconventional US plays will maintain robust drilling and investment this year despite dropping oil and natural gas prices. But, the Bakken formation was commonly said to be the region most apt to feel the sting.

Hess cuts capital budget by 16% to $4.7 billion

Feb 9, 2015

Hess Corp. has set a capital budget of $4.7 billion for 2015, down 16% from $5.6 billion spent last year. The company at the beginning of 2014 reported a $5.8 billion budget for the year.

EPA suggests DOS reconsider Keystone XL climate impact conclusions

Feb 3, 2015

The US Department of State might want to reconsider its conclusions regarding potential climate impacts from the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline because crude oil prices have fallen so dramatically, a US Environmental Protection Agency official suggested.

EIA: Stable oil outlook seen despite near-term rig-count reduction

Feb 2, 2015

According to data from Baker Hughes Inc., between the weeks ended Oct. 31, 2014, and Jan. 23, 2015, the number of active onshore drilling rigs in the Lower 48 dropped 16%, reflecting the sharp decline in oil prices over the last quarter of 2014.

PwC: Low oil prices might drive surge in restructuring in 2015

Jan 29, 2015

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the oil and gas industry hit 10-year highs in terms of deal value and volume in 2014, according to a report from PwC US. The record breaking year was primarily driven by a significant level of deals valued at more than $1 billion, especially in second-half 2014.

Hess cuts capital budget by 16% to $4.7 billion

Jan 27, 2015

Hess Corp. has set a capital budget of $4.7 billion for 2015, down 16% from $5.6 billion spent last year. The company at the beginning of 2014 reported a $5.8 billion budget for the year.

ETP, Regency to merge in $18-billion deal

Jan 26, 2015

Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and Regency Energy Partners have agreed to merge in a unit-for-unit transaction, plus a one-time cash payment to Regency unit holders, valued at $18 billion, including the assumption of net debt and other liabilities of $6.8 billion.

EIA: Stable oil production outlook in Lower 48 despite near-term rig-count reduction

Jan 26, 2015

According to data from Baker Hughes Inc., between the weeks ended Oct. 31, 2014, and Jan. 23, 2015, the number of active onshore drilling rigs in the Lower 48 dropped 16%, reflecting the sharp decline in oil prices over the last quarter of 2014.

BHI: US rig count falls for 8th straight week, down 43 units

Jan 23, 2015

The US drilling rig count fell 43 units to settle at 1,633 rigs working during the week ended Jan. 23, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Kinder Morgan to acquire Hiland Partners for $3 billion

Jan 22, 2015

Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) has agreed to acquire Hiland Partners from founder Harold Hamm and certain Hamm family trusts for $3 billion, including the assumption of debt. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Conoco’s Lance calls for repeal of US crude oil export ban

Jan 15, 2015

The US crude export ban that was imposed in 1975 should be repealed 40 years later to ensure the US oil and gas renaissance continues, ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance said.

EIA: Continued global oil stock build to keep pressure on oil prices

Jan 13, 2015

In its most recent monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration reported it expects global oil inventories to continue to build in 2015, keeping downward pressure on oil prices.  

Start-up delayed for North Dakota refinery

Jan 9, 2015

Dakota Prairie Refining LLC, a joint venture of MDU Resources Group Inc., Bismarck, ND, and its 50-50 partner Calumet Specialty Produces Partners LP, Indianapolis, has delayed commercial production of diesel fuel and other products at its 20,000-b/d diesel refinery in North Dakota until the second quarter.

Sharp drop expected in global E&P spending in 2015, study says

Jan 8, 2015

Global capital expenditures for oil and gas exploration and production projects are expected to drop 17% to $571 billion in 2015, according to Cowen and Co.’s annual study of 476 oil and gas companies’ E&P capex budgets. The study assumes an average West Texas Intermediate price of $70/bbl.

Oil-price plunge raises questions about unconventional plays

Jan 5, 2015

An oil-price plunge that began in the second half of 2014 and continues into 2015 raises questions about production from unconventional resources in the US.

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