Sunday, February 27, 2011

Union Center Oil Field -- 16 Wells on One Unit? -- Bakken, North Dakota, USA


December 14, 2012: permits added so far in 2012 --
  • 24537, 2,842, BR, Midnight Horse 11-1MBH-ULW, Union Center, this section now has eight (8) wells sites or permits; I think this is a well on an overlapping 2560-acre spacing unit, so it can run right down the section line; watch to see if it's a 4-section spacing well; the name is interesting: Midnight Horse, a combination of "Midnight Run" and "Iron Horse"; 4-section spacing; t5/13; cum 14K 5/13;
  • 24439, conf, Petro-Hunt, Sorenson 152-96-24D-13-6H, Union Center,
  • 24438, conf, Petro-Hunt, Sorenson 152-96-24D-13-5H, Union Center,
  • 22758, 2,485, BR, Iron Horse 11-2TFH, Union Center,  t11/12; cum 6K 1/13; off-line often;
  • 22757, drl, BR, Iron Horse 21-2MBH, Union Center, 
  • 22756, 2,204, BR, Iron Horse 21-2TFH, Union Center,  t11/12; cum 4K 11/12; t11/12; cum 4K 1/13; off-line often;
  • 22755, 2,605, BR, Iron Horse 31-2MBH, Union Center, t10/12; cum 12K 1/13; off-line often;
  • 22754, 2,324, BR, Iron Horse 31-2TFH, Union Center, t11/12; cum 8K 1/13;
  • 22753, 1,964, BR, Iron Horse 41-2TFH, Union Center, producing, t11/12; cum 8K 1/13;
  • 22675, 2,640, BR, Midnight Run 11-1TFH, Union Center, t10/12; cum 40K 1/13;
March 29, 2012: added another Midnight Run well, #22675, see below.  This will be the 7th well in section of T152N-R96W.

February 10, 2012: from a reader in response to the February, 2012, NDIC hearing dockets:
The BR request for 2560 acre spacing in the Union Center field corresponds with what they are doing with their Midnight Run wells. They already have six Midnight Run wells (4 producing and two on confidential) on 1280 acres, and now they want to double the spacing and drill a total of twelve. That indicates to me that Union Center must be a very productive field for them!
January 14, 2012: some data updated
Original Post

Union Center is another one of those very, very small fields in the Williston Basin. It is all of six sections in T152N-R96W. It is located west of the northwest corner of the reservation. Its northeast corner shares a border with the very nice Charlson field. It is in the bull's eye of the Bakken.

It appears that Burlington Resources "owns" the field.  (Burlington Resources is a wholly owned subsidiary of COP. BR was originally a spin-off of the Burlington Northern railroad.)


From Clear Creek, the oil field directly below Union Center, there are some wells that have horizontals going into Union Center. Note: two wells/permits are permitted for the Union Center oil field, but are actually situated in Clear Creek to the south:
  • 19359, 91, Petro-Hunt, Sorenson 152-96-24C-13-2H, 24-152-96; Union Center, Three Forks, s8/10; t9/11; F; cum 28K 10/12; 6 frac stages; 700K lbs of sand; off-line 11/12;
  • 20476, 840, Petro-Hunt, Sorenson 152-96-24C-13-3H, 24-152-96, Union Center, t3/12; cum 117K 11/12;
A third Petro-Hunt well in the adjoining section, is permitted for the Clear Creek oil field, and shows up in section 23-152-96 in the Clear Creek field.
  • 18308, 1,562, Petro-Hunt, Sorenson 152-96-13B-24-1H, Union Center; F; 27 frac stages, 127K in less than a year! 27 stages; 1.5 million lbs; t1/10; cum 245K 11/12;
A fourth Petro-Hunt well is in section 14-152-96, and will most likely be a long lateral, running south, into Clear Creek.
  • 19511, 793, Petro-Hunt, Brenna 152-96-14B-23-3H; Clear Creek, t4/11; F; cum 235K 11/12; D-TF (Three Forks); 27 stages; 2.1 million lbs;
Added since original post:
  • 21714, 1,626, Petro-Hunt, Sorenson 152-96-24C-13-4H, Union Center, t4/12; cum 132K 11/12;
Now back to those Burlington Resources wells/permits in Union Center (for update on Midnight Run wells, click here):
  • 17421, 544, BR, Midnight Run 41-1H, Union Center, Bakken, s7/08; t11/08; cum 307K 11/12; 9-stage fracture; 1-152-96
  • 17631, 670, BR, Iron Horse 31-2H, t4/09, cum 174K 11/12; taken off line for five of early 22 months; 6-stage frack, I believe (I could be wrong; it may have been more but not many more); 2-152-96; produced only four days in 10/12; and 11/12;
  • 20323, 3,325, BR, Midnight Run 11-1MBH, Union Center, Bakken, 1-152-96; t12/11; cum 137K 11/12;
  • 20324, 1,963, BR, Midnight Run 21-1TFH, Union Center, Bakken, 1-152-96; t12/11; cum 72K 11/12; very erratic production;
  • 20325, 2,846, BR, Midnight Run 21-1MBH, Union Center, Bakken, 1-152-96; t12/11; cum 119K 11/12;
  • 20326, 2,083, BR, Midnight Run 31-1TFH, Union Center; 1-152-96; t12/11; cum 113K 11/12;
  • 20327, 2,443, BR, Midnight Run 41-1TFH, Union Center; 1-152-96; t12/11; cum 89K 11/12; taken off-line often;
  • 22675, 2,640, BR, Midnight run 11-1TFH, Union Center; 1-152-96, t10/12; cum 8K 11/12; only 188 bbls over 30 days in November, 2012;
  • 24537, conf, BR, Midnight Horse 11-1MBH-ULW, Union Center,
  • 22753, 1,964, BR, Iron Horse 41-2TFH, Union Center, t11/12; cum 8K 1/13;
  • 22754, 2,324, BR, Iron Horse 31-2TFH, Union Center,
  • 22755, 2,605, BR, Iron Horse 31-2MBH, Union Center,
  • 22756, 2,204, BR, Iron Horse 21-2TFH, Union Center,
  • 22757, drl, BR, Iron Horse 21-2MBH, Union Center,
  • 22758, conf, BR, Iron Horse 11-2TFH, Union Center,
  • 6168; PNA; 500, Panther Creek Resources, Brenna 13-13; Union Center, Madison; s7/77; t8/77; cum 241K 5/03; 200 bbls/month before it was taken off line in 2000 (kept active through 2003)
  • 7335, 210, Panther Creek Resources, Brenna 42-14, Union Center, Madison; s12/79; 3/80; cum 218K 11/12; still producing 300 bbls/month (at $85 --> $25,000/month; almost no expenses; well paid for)
  • 7774, 465, McRae & Henry, Ltd., Brenna 22-14; Union Center Madison;  s9/80; t11/80; cum 198K 11/12;
  • 8266, 486, Panther Creek Resources, Sorenson 11-13; Union Center, Madison; s2/81; t4/81; cum 253K 11/12;
A few points:
  • Look at those total production figures for two of those BR wells; these wells will pay for themselves in a couple of years, and continue to produce at nice rates
  • These two high producing wells had nice, but not spectacular IPs
  • These two high producing wells were fracked with single-digit number of stages (9, and 6); compared with 30 and 38 stages used by BEXP
  • Five wells are in the same section (17421, 20324 - 20327); two of them are middle Bakken, and three will target the Three Forks
  • Those five wells are linearly spaced suggesting that three more wells could be placed in that same line; that would be a total of eight wells in one section on one line
  • Note that those five wells are a mix of middle Bakken and Three Forks. If it is accurate that the middle Bakken and the Three Forks do not communicate, then one can double the number of horizontals, bringing to a total of ten horizontals in one 1280-acre spacing unit
  • If BR were to max out the spacing in this one section with stacked laterals, one could see 16 wells in this one section (part of a 1280-acre unit); this is not far-fetched if one looks at slide 51 of the most recent BEXP presentation
  • Other formations in this section are also likely to hold viable pay zones
  • Bottom line: 16 horizontals targeting the Bakken and Three Forks, and then other pay zones to consider
Now, it starts to make sense why some acreage in the Bakken went for $10,000/acre.

Puttin' On The Ritz, Taco

Dress up like a million dollar trooper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper.

Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks...
Puttin' on the Ritz.

Have you seen the well-to-do
Up and down Park Avenue?
On that famous thoroughfare,
With their noses in the air;
High hats, and narrow collars
White spats,
And lots of dollars...


  1. Bruce:

    My family is particularly interested in the production from the Midnight Run wells. One comes off the confidential list this week, and the others in the next few weeks.

    I don't know whether you ever read the Continental Resources Q2 earnings transcript, but I pulled this from the Q & A portion. It talks about CLR and CP doing a joint project involving the Midnight Run wells and the potential for increased drilling and smaller spacing. Will be very interesting to see what the production numbers show as the wells come off confidential.

    From Continental Resources Press Conference, Q2 2011:

    Marshall Carver - Capital One Southcoast, Inc.
    Just a couple of follow-up questions. Have you done much down spacing work recently? I know you talked about that in prior conference calls, but wanted to know was there any downsizing done over the last quarter in the Bakken? And what were your assumptions with those 600,000-barrel wells? I guess some of those were probably -- guess that was just the average of the prior wells, but what are your thoughts on down spacing in the play?

    Jeffery Hume

    Marshall, we've done several locations where we have 2 1,280s next to one another where we've drilled against the lease line and effectively have 2 wells at a 320-acre space position. But for the most part, we're drilling 1 well and in a few instances, 2 wells in a 1,280. The bulk of our fleets drilling the first well in a 1,280, we're going to maintaining 15 to 18 of the rigs doing that for the next year or 2. We do have a project going right now of testing a 320-acre space unit in our AMI area of galaxy, that's being executed by ConocoPhillips. That's an area where they operate. We're 50-50 partner in that area. We're executing that this summer. We'll have those wells drilled and be producing that. So that's taking down to where on a 1,280 basis we're 1,320 foot between wellbores. And we'll have 4 or 5 wells paired -- developed in that area where we can watch that. The plans are probably to work through or for the most part, work the rigs through to get our acreage HBP and then we'll come back and the fleet will be slowly growing to more ECO-Pad type drilling. We have 4, maybe 5 rigs now capable -- 5 capable of drilling ECO-Pads. We have 3 or 4 at any one time drilling ECO-Pads. And I think we'll be looking at possibly -- the possibility of taking that fleet of ECO-Pad rigs of doing more of this down space testing over the next year. So that's probably where they'll be. So we'll get more on a manufacturing mode, if you will, going across the acreage in late 2012, '13 and beyond where we can convert the bulk of the fleet. And as we grow the fleet, build a more ECO-Pad type development where we get the cost down and price up. But our first step is going on right now with a true 4 to 5 wells, 1,320 foot inter-well spacing. And probably next springtime, we have information on really what's the interference, is there any interference between those. We feel very little. I'll remind you, though, if you look back to Elm Coulee where we have higher permeability, we're effectively drilling that 1,320 foot inter-well spacing and having excellent results. Right now, we're seeing well over 480,000-barrel EURs on average well on our PUDs in Elm Coulee. So we're highly optimistic we'll see very strong results in North Dakota over all of the play.

    Harold Hamm

    And particularly in this galaxy area, we feel like it's one area that will certainly bode well with 320-acre development. This project that we're doing up there jointly with ConocoPhillips is called Midnight Run. So you'll hear more about Midnight Run as we go forward.

  2. Even if the spacing continues at 1280-acres, the increased number of wells per spacing unit will effectively result in smaller spacing.

    In addition, as you have noted, there are increasing number of requests for 320-acre spacing in the monthly hearing dockets.