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

North Dakota December oil production topped 1.2 million b/d

Feb 17, 2015

Preliminary oil and gas production figures for December 2014 show 1.16 million b/d in oil production from the Bakken and Three Forks formations and 63,992 b/d from legacy conventional pools, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported.

BHI: US rig count continues 11-week dive, loses 98 more units

Feb 13, 2015

The US drilling rig count plunged 98 units to settle at 1,358 rigs working during the week ended Feb. 13, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

EIA: US gasoline prices to average $1/gal less in 2015 vs. 2014

Feb 10, 2015

US regular gasoline retail prices are expected to average $2.33/gal in 2015, down from $3.36/gal in 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

WoodMac: Eagle Ford production tops 1 billion bbl

Feb 10, 2015

Analysts forecast increasing unconventional US production during 2015 with one of the prolific plays being the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas.

Bakken briefs

Feb 10, 2015

Comment: Beware of break-even and marginal-cost analyses

Feb 10, 2015

Shale oil and gas productivity and costs vary dramatically among the different areas of a shale formation, and the difference between owning the best acreage or the worst is what makes winners and losers.

ND bills would expand Industrial Commission, void flaring rule, vapor-pressure standards

Feb 10, 2015

Republican lawmakers in North Dakota have initiated legislation that would bring already-established rules on reduced gas flaring and on oil conditioning standards for crude produced from the Bakken, Three Forks, and Sanish formations back into the statehouse.

Bakken formation pressure standards to take effect Apr. 1

Feb 10, 2015

North Dakota oil and gas regulators ordered operators to condition crude oil from the Bakken, Three Forks, and Sanish formations, effective Apr. 1, in efforts to improve rail transportation safety.

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.

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