UPDATE: Hold onto your hats. This case has gotten a lot more complicated. NDIC has scheduled a hearing on Feb 26, 2010, to hear Hess' plea to suspend/revoke BEXP's permit to drill. BEXP already has a rig on this site. This should be interesting. February 6, 2010.]
[UPDATE, February 9, 2010: Nabors Rig 52 started drilling the Sorenson 29-32 1-H on this date, Feb 9, 2010.]
[UPDATE, February 25, 2010: recommendation to dismiss Hess's request. If being read correctly, this suggests three laterals in one section!]
The following was posted on/before February 4. The story is not over (see update above.)
This is more complicated than my usual posts, and I could be wrong in my understanding of what is going on. But if I understand this correctly, two different producers ("oil companies") have been granted permits to drill three different wells in the very same 1280 acre area in the fairly prolific Alger oil field. It's possible they are going to different formations (such as the Bakken AND/OR the Three Forks Sanish).
Operators/producers are starting to request permits to start drilling "infill" wells. These are wells in established fields placed in between wells that are already producing.
One would assume that if the two "outside" wells were operated by "Producer A," then the infill wells would be operated by the same "Producer A."
This appears to be the new wrinkle: it looks like two operators/producers are requesting infill wells in the very same section(s).
Here is an example:
Brigham Oil (BEXP) already has producing wells in the surrounding sections in the area under discussion.
Today, Feb 4, 2010, after receiving a permit earlier to do this, BEXP [Producer A] is moving a rig to place a long lateral in sections 29 and 32 in T155N-92W. That rig is MIRU (moving in, rigging up).
[Language: NABORS 52 BRIGHAM OIL & GAS LP SORENSON 29-32 1-H NWNE 29-155N-92W MTL 18654 * MIRU] See NDIC active rig page (this is an ever-changing page; if you access it 30 days from now, it may not show up any more).
Meanwhile, on the same date, today, Feb 4, 2010, Hess [Producer B] was granted two permits to drill from the south, again a long lateral targeting the same sections (29 and 32) in the same township. [Language: #18685 - HESS CORPORATION, RS-PANZER FARMS-155-92- 3229H-1, SWSE 32-155N-92W, MOUNTRAIL CO., 360' FSL and 2515' FEL, DEVELOPMENT, ALGER, 20337', 9-5/8 " - 2500', 2333' Ground, API #33-061-01259, (Approved: 2/3/2010]
[Language: #18686 - HESS CORPORATION, RS-PANZER FARMS-155-92- 3229H-3, SESW 32-155N-92W, MOUNTRAIL CO., 360' FSL and 2765' FEL, DEVELOPMENT, ALGER, 20354', 9-5/8 " - 2500', 2333' Ground, API #33-061-01260, (Approved: 2/3/2010)]
So, "producer A," BEXP, has moved oil rig Nabors 52 on to section 29 (the northwest quadrant), to drill a long lateral in sections 29 and 32; and, "producer B," Hess, was granted a permit to drill two wells targeting the same two sections but coming from the south, drilling in the southern half of section 32 and extending into section 29.