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


Aug 7, 1995 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Oil discoveries are drawing numerous operators to a Mississippian Lodgepole play in the Williston basin. The play is also stimulating significant 3D seismic acquisition aimed at helping operators pick out Lodgepole mounds about 10,000 ft deep. Here is the approximate status of the play as of end-July:

EXPLORATION North Dakota's Dickinson Lodgepole discovery: a preliminary exploration model

Aug 14, 1995 Julie A. LeFever North Dakota Geological Survey Grand Forks, N.D. S.P. Halabura North Rim Exploration Ltd. Saskatoon, Sask. David W. Fischer Independent geologist Grand Forks, N.D. Carol D. Martiniuk Manitoba Energy and Mines Winnipeg Interest in the Mississippian Lodgepole formation of North Dakota has intensified since the successful completion of the Duncan Oil Inc. 1-11 Knopik flowing 2,707 b/d of oil and 1.55 MMcfd of gas (430 cu m of oil and 43,891 cu m of gas. This is the first

Williston Lodgepole Play Fans Out

Oct 2, 1995 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Potential Williston Lodgepole Trends The Williston basin Mississippian Lodgepole oil play is swelling the rig count and oil production in North Dakota. As much as 200 sq miles of 3D seismic surveys have been acquired in southwestern North Dakota, and at least as much more is expected to be gathered through next year. Exploratory drilling so far has moved south and east from Conoco Inc.'s 1993 Lodgepole discovery in Dickinson oil field.

Exploration Williston Lodgepole play fans out

Oct 2, 1995 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor The Williston basin Mississippian Lodgepole oil play is swelling the rig count and oil production in North Dakota. As much as 200 sq miles of 3D seismic surveys have been acquired in southwestern North Dakota, and at least as much more is expected to be gathered through next year. Exploratory drilling so far has moved south and east from Conoco Inc.'s 1993 Lodgepole discovery in Dickinson oil field.


Nov 20, 1995 Robert B. O'Connor Jr. Wavetech Geophysical Inc. Denver Recent major discoveries by Conoco Inc. and Duncan Oil in the Lower Mississippian Lodgepole formation of the Williston basin show that finding major oil reserves is still possible in the U.S. and that 3D seismic methods have the capability to locate them. The implications are profound for independent oil and gas producers, who traditionally concentrate their operations in the mature U.S. Like major companies, independents are profiting

Horizontal projects buoy Williston recovery

Jan 15, 1996 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Horizontal drilling and in situ combustion are coming together to improve oil recovery in the southern Williston basin. A recent acquisition will give impetus to an active play for oil in 8-10 ft thick Ordovician Red River B pay at about 9,000 ft. The B zone has been marginal to uneconomic in vertical wells. Continental Resources Inc., Enid, Okla., acquired the Harding County, S.D., and Bowman County, N.D., operated assets of Koch Exploration Co., Wichita. Both

New life in U.S. oil

Jan 29, 1996 Oil & Gas Journal's annual Forecast and Review special report contains subtle statistical movements that reflect deep changes in how oil and gas companies approach their business (see p. 51). The significant change is in the rate of decline for U.S. production of crude oil and lease condensate. The rate is diminishing. And it is doing so even though the decline rate in production from Alaska's North Slope is increasing.

Slight Rise Possible In U.S. Drilling; Canadian Action Sags

Jan 29, 1996 G. Alan Petzet Exploration Editor Robert J. Beck Associate Managing Editor-Economics The low level of U.S. drilling evident in 1995 is likely to continue into 1996. Anticipated increases in the average prices of crude oil and natural gas will sustain only about a 2% increase in the number of wells drilled year to year in the U.S. A second year of decline can be expected in Canada from 1993's historic high, but total drilling will remain above the average of well counts for the past 10


Nov 25, 1996 Oman LNG LLC (OLNG) let a contract valued at more than $1 billion to Chiyoda-Foster Wheeler & Co., a joint venture of Japan's Chiyoda Corp. and Foster Wheeler Corp., Clinton, N.J., for engineering, construction, and procurement of a 6.6 million metric ton/year, two-train LNG plant at Al-Ghalilah, Oman. Work began immediately after the contract signing Nov. 14 for completion by 2000, when OLNG is slated to begin exporting as much as 4.1 million tons/year for 25 years to South Korea (OGJ,

Area Drilling

Dec 2, 1996 The Department of Mineral Resources let a $1.9 million contract to Schlumberger GeoQuest to set up the department's Petroleum and Coal Management Information System (PCMIS). DMR will use the data management center, to be located in Bangkok, to support and accelerate the country's E&P development objectives. The center will handle E&P and associated data from all leaseholders, operators, and contractors in Thailand.


Dec 9, 1996 Tuntex Group, Taipei, said a final decision to proceed with a planned $10 billion petrochemical project in South Africa must wait until the Taiwanese government decides what policy it will follow once South Africa severs diplomatic relations with Taiwan at yearend 1997. Under a preliminary agreement drawn up in September, Taiwan and South Africa would each contribute $5 billion to the project. Tuntex agreed to invest $3 billion, with another $2 billion to come from other Taiwan investors,

Lodgepole reef potential seen in Montana Williston basin

Dec 16, 1996 Larry Brogdon H.A. Hedberg Trust Fort Worth Stanton M. Ball, David S. Ball Ball Exploration Inc. Fort Worth The Williston basin Mississippian Lodgepole oil play has suffered a string of dry holes lately eroding the confidence of explorationists to find these prolific reefs, particularly in North Dakota. Detailed mapping of the Lodgepole trend suggests more Lodgepole reefs will be found in the Montana part of the trend than in North Dakota. Companies seeking impact plays should certainly give

Switzerland exploration may resume

Jun 23, 1997 Switzerland has a large molasse basin between Lakes Constance and Geneva, squeezed in from the west by the Jura Mountains and from the east by the Alps (Fig. 1)[74161 bytes] . SEAG is a privately held company in which Shell (Switzerland), Exxon (Switz- erland), Swiss gas gathering company Swissgas, the Canton of Berne, and myself as vice-chairman hold a majority. SEAG has negotiated a joint venture agreement with Anschutz Corp., Denver, and this agreement should be signed within weeks. It

U.S. Drilling May Soften; Canada, World Levels Strong

Jul 28, 1997 How first half U.S. and Canada drilling compare [43,489 bytes] Majors' drilling forcast [63,340 bytes] Oil & Gas Journal well forcast for 1997 [85,989 bytes] Drilling activity in the U.S. may soften slightly in second half 1997 compared with the first half, but OGJ still projects that more wells will be drilled this year than in 1996. Canadian operators, meanwhile, seem primed to set a record for the year and might eclipse the torrid pace they set in the first half.

Tuscaloosa marine shale may be untouched Gulf Coast oil play

Dec 29, 1997 The Tuscaloosa marine shale section lies between sands of the upper and lower Tuscaloosa sections and varies in thickness from 500 ft in southwestern Mississippi to more than 800 ft in the southern Florida Parishes of southeastern Louisiana ( Fig. 1 [64,867 bytes] ). The primary zone of interest, a high log resistivity (5 ohms) zone at the base of the above referenced shale section, varies in thickness from zero to 325 ft over the area and is found at the shallowest depth of about 10,000 ft in
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