Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oldest Permit in My Reporting: Federal 32-4HBKCE -- Bicentennial Field -- Golden Valley County, North Dakota, USA


June 22, 2011: In the original post below I said that there was only one permit in the Bicentennial field at that time and that I would watch for more permits. Here they are:
  • 17461:75, CLR, Bicentennial Federal 10-34H
  • 18806: LOC, WLL, Wolski 44-23H
  • 18845: LOC, WLL, ONeil Creek State 11-16TFH
  • 18972: 3, Nadel and Gussman, State 1-36H
  • 19084: DRL, WLL, Mosser 11-27TFH
  • 19211: 294, Wesco, Federal 12-20 (Red River)
  • 19217: Conf, Wesco, Federal 42-1
  • 19228: 211, Wesco, Federal 43-12 (Red River)
  • 19268: 125, CLR, Bicentennial Federal 1-28H
  • 19330: LOC, WLL, Gorrell 11-34TFH
  • 19557: LOC, WLL, Tescher Ranch 11-9TFH
  • 20344: LOC, WLL, Gorrell 11-20TFH
  • 20379: LOC, WLL, Smith 44-30TFH
  • 20418: LOC, WLL, ONeil Creek Federal 11-11TFH
  • 20420: LOC, WLL, ONeil Creek Federal 44-28TFH
  • 20426: LOC, WLL, ONeil Creek Federal 12-5TFH
April 26, 2011: Birdbear formation related to this well.

Original Post

A few days ago I asked whether the Bakken was over-hyped. In that post, I noted that there is a backlog of 1,100 wells yet to be drilled -- just on permits that have been granted, and not yet drilled. [Based on permits granted so far this year, there should be at least 1,200 new permits granted in 2010, adding to that backlog. In the past I have opined that operators should be able to drill about 1,000 wells this calendar year (100 rigs x 10 wells/rig/year = 1000 wells).]

I have been posting for only a few months. I was curious to find out how long ago the "oldest" permit was granted for the wells that I have reported out in the past few months.

If you go to my "new wells reporting" page, you will see that file #15412 is the oldest permit of those I have reported on. That permit was granted to Equity Oil on March 28, 2003. Whiting eventually drilled the well, the Federal 32-4HBKCE and reported the results of that well on December 7, 2009 through a press release. That well targeted the Three Forks Sanish in the Bicentennial oil field. It was a huge well with an IP of 1,970 bopd. But can you imagine that: the permit was granted in early 2003 and it was not until six and a half (6.5) years later that the well was finally completed. Six and a half years later. You can see the Whiting press release here, December 7, 2009. Anything special about this well? It was a re-entry well; its vertical depth was 10,530 feet; it was a long lateral; and, it was fracture stimulated in 15 stages. Someone noted that this well actually produced oil from the Birdbear formation earlier that year.(The GIS map server shows three laterals.)

Oh, as long as I'm rambling, what else did the WLL press release say? WLL said it anticipated drilling at least nine Three Forks wells in this area during 2010. This is in Golden Valley County; remember, the most active counties are Mountrail, McKenzie, Williams, and Dunn. I often forget that Golden Valley is active. Currently, there are NO Whiting permits in this oil field, the Bicentennial so I will keep an eye open for new permits in the Bicentennial oil field this year.

WLL also said that its gross operated oil production in the Sanish and Parshall fields is 20,014 bopd (December 7, 2009), and by the end of March 2010, it expects all of its operated production to be transported by pipeline. WLL says it has a pipeline capacity of 65,000 bopd; its central gathering poing is north of Stanley, ND, where it connects to the Enbridge pipeline. Enbridge says it will complete its current expansion project by mid-2010, expanding its current capacity of 110,000 bopd to 161,000 bopd.

By the way, the nomenclature for this well, "HBKCE": H is for horizontal; BK is for the Bakken; and CE? I think I read somewhere that someone opined that CE stood for "casing extension" -- an addition horizontal from an existing well. I don't know.  Makes sense, except that this well targeted the TFS and not the Bakken. Whatever.

That's enough for this well. But again: the permit granted March 28, 2003, and not drilled until the  middle of 2009, and reported at the end of that calendar year. Yeah, I would say there's quite a backlog of wells to be drilled.

Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees



  2. Thank you for stopping by. I linked the URL above on my two welcome pages. The linked analysis was published in 2006. Its conclusion: "The Bakken shale may be productive."

  3. hi bruce ...i always go to mdw for the latest news ...great site. about that 6.5 yr permit, i think maybe the drilling operators keep extending the permit process because then they dont have to sign a whole new lease with the mineral owners. see,..some/most leases state that if no development is taking place at the time of the lease deadline date then the lease is over and done.(either a 5 year or a 10 year lease). But if the company holding the lease can show some kind of activity is at least taking place. then the life of the lease is extended. ie a permit. hope that makes sense any one else have a thought on why it took sooo long to drill yhat well? iv seen permits get drilled in as little as 3 months... waymor j.

  4. Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, I didn't have much point about the 6.5 year lease, except to let folks know who have leases, that sometimes it can be a long wait, but the wait can be worth it.

    My site has become quite cluttered; hard to find information; but using "search" tools of your browser folks can find some good information.

    I remain excited about the Bakken; but I am aware of the stresses. I don't think the housing situation in Williston and surrounding areas is a good thing. It's really quite sad; these are some of the hardest working folks and the hardships on their families has to be very, very tough.

    Again, thank you for kind comments.

  5. Hello,
    I have a question that you may be able to answer. Speaking of oil permits -- how can I find out if or when a permit to drill for oil has been issued for a particular section of land in North Dakota?
    Thank you,

  6. 1. To determine if a permit has been issued in North Dakota is very, very simple. You need to know the township, and if you know the section number in the township, it will be even quicker.

    Go to the NDIC home page (it's linked several places on my site).

    At the NDIC home page, there is a menu on the left sidebar. Look for "Well Search" and click on that. All you have to do is put in the section number (if you know it) and the township (from the drop down menu). You don't have to know oil company or anything else, just the location. Then hit "SUBMIT." Scroll down the list to find the permit (based on location) you are interested in.

    2. To find out if a permit is going to be granted, that's much more difficult. You would need to sort through all the hearing dockets to even see if the area you are interested in is being considered. But I think that's pretty hopeless. It's a long process to "thinking" about a permit and actually getting a permit. I think your best bet is to track permits that have already been granted, as in step one above.

    3. The Teegue / BakkenBlog discussion thread has been very helpful, and if you want to pursue whether a permit is likely in a certain area you may want to ask there. That site is also linked in my sidebar to the right.

    4. Looking at the NDIC map (GIS map server) -- again on the sidebar on the left on the NDIC home page -- will give you a good idea how likely it is a permit will be granted any time in the near future. But that would just be a hunch.

    5. By the way, it's my feeling that the NDIC home page is the most user-friendly of any state site (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, etc). It takes awhile to get used to it, but once you figure out all it has to offer, it is phenomenal.

  7. An even easier way to see if a permit has been granted in a particular section, simply go to the GIS map server, and zoom in to the section you are interested in.

    An "open circle" indicates a permit has been granted; other icons are explained at the GIS site (legend, right sidebar).

  8. Hi Bruce, How can I find out what if anything is going on with some permits that have been approved on land owned by our family? None of us live in North Dakota or even close. I have found out about 4 permits but really have not found any information on what exactly they are doing with them. I also have seen them on an active drilling list but they have since disappeared. I know they are on a Confidential Well List but that's about all we know. Do you have any suggestion's on how we can get more information?

  9. That sounds like good news: things are moving along as one would expect. First, they were on the "active drilling list" and now they are on the "confidential list." That suggests they were drilled. There are NO dry holes in the Bakken. That's not quite 100% true, but awful close.

    The confidential period in North Dakota is six months but the point at which the clock starts ticking varies.

    Best advice: go to right sidebar, about a third of the way down, in the "Commentary" group, the very first link is the "Bakken Shale Discussion Group."

    That group has been very helpful. You can first search at that site. Just put in the main word of the name of the well. Then join the group and ask your question. Someone in the group may have knowledge of one or more of the wells you are curious about.

    It's possible, but less likely, that a company has released information about these wells in a press release so be sure to google the main name (one word) of the well you are interested in, and include "oil" "Bakken" or "North Dakota" to limit the number of returns. I assume you have already done that, but just in case you haven't.

    The Bakken Shale Discussion Group is your best bet.

    You can get an idea of how your wells are doing if you know the results of wells in the immediate area.

    But congratulations. You should have production based on what you said.

  10. Thank you Bruce for all your help. I will try you suggestions. It's frustrating not to be able to jump into a car a drive over to the wells and see for myself what's going on. But unfortunately I live in Florida... That would be a long Not that I haven't been tempted.

  11. And even if you saw the wells first hand, it wouldn't tell you a whole lot. Even with a lot of tanks on the pad, it just means the trucks come less often to pick up the oil if it's a lousy well. The waiting has to be very frustrating, but again, I think it will end soon. If the wells are on the confidential list, the months will go by pretty quickly -- again assuming the clock for the six-month confidential period has started ticking.

    By the way, you might prefer for the oil to start flowing when the price of oil hits new highs, like it is doing today. Smile.