Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Update on Some Whiting Data Points Regarding Drilling in the Bakken -- Drawing Wells on Paper (DWOP) -- North Dakota, USA

According to Oil Patch Hotline, here are some Whiting fracking data points (numbers rounded) (links to Oil Patch Hotline are dynamic and will change over time):
  • A 30-stage fracture stimulation in the Bakken costs $750,000
  • Whiting is looking at technology that can do 60 frack stages
  • Typical fracking for long lateral: 40K bbls frack fluid and 3 million pounds of sand
  • Horizontal wells are now being drilled in an average of 18 days (38 days in 2009; cost savings: $1 million)
  • Bringing all players together for an all-day meeting prior to spudding (Drilling Wells on Paper [DWOP] program) allows WLL to drill four wells in less than 14 days
  • Efficiencies have brought Sanish field wells down to a cost of $5.5 million
Why so many frack stages? CLR has data that suggests more frack stages a) result in well being paid off more quickly; and, b) correlate with higher EURs.

It's my impression that BEXP has found the sweet spot with 32 - 38 frack stages, but it will be interesting to see what 60 frack stages bring.

  • Actual frack fluid ranges from 30 - 45K
  • Actual sand ranges from 2.4 - 3.3 million pounds


  1. In the original article, the sentence regarding frac volume is confusing. Each stage isn't 40k bbls of fluid and 3 million pounds of sand; that is the entire frac job. Each stage would more typically be 1000-2000 bbl of fluid.

  2. Thank you, thank you.

    I should have caught that, I suppose, but I wasn't paying attention to details.

    I've corrected it above; hopefully it is correct.

    Again, thank you for catching that.

  3. Wll is a true pioneer whose taken a leading role in adapting to the targeted material. They indicated they've purchased 2 electronmicroscopy systems to aid this effeort...its transcendental that oil folks have now gotten the facts that pore sizes of these oil bits trapped in shale are very small. With the aid of these tools they can take cores from drilling, create thin slices,and count the holding within the slice this tool aids in determining what is really there.

    Nothing about this Bakken is the same old oil business, its a complete rethink, nucleated oil was laid on the surface and over millenia reached shale where it was accumulated.

    BEXP has some interesting pioneering thoughts that speak to targeting depth of well as a choice about oil under pressure, from the weight of what is above it.

    keep up the great work Bruce.

  4. Thank you for your kind comments.

    "Invention is the mother of necessity." When "we" started to run out of the easily accessible oil, folks had to do some serious studying of the geology, as you suggest. By the way, I didn't link it but I saw an article the other day on nanotechnology being use to develop proppants which dovetails exactly with your comment on the size of these pores.

    It was also interesting to note in WLL's conference call they were going do some more studying in the Sanish first because that's where they have their microseismic array (if I have that right) before testing their theories in the Lewis and Clark.

  5. Nano technology proponents are a certainty...I know a chemist also working on this.

  6. I have put "Nanotechnology and proppants" on my "Top Ten" list of trends (side bar at the right (still being developed, bear with me).

    For newbies, here's one link:

  7. Let me add this, the geology is what curtailed development of shale oil production. Nothing in the matrix of the soda straw world speaks to what we are doing here....CEO's are being nice when they retain the nomenclature of what was out of curtesy to what is becoming.

  8. Dont stumble Bruce, i am just another annymous source kicking the butts of the old way of thinking.

    In order to understand nucleation you need physics, not a bunch of bought and paid for geologists who are trying to adapt what is unfolding to an old paradigm....they may succeed in name only....but have no fear, as this game is already written....and they will adapt by obfuscation, with each passing moment, because its they that need re education.

    the great thing is....i could give a rats ass if any of them get it, if they prefer to uphold old thinking as egocentric self interest, fine....big companies know,that the game has changed, and with it, all its underlying assumptions.

  9. "Retaining the nomenclature" also maintains the comfort factor for investors. Old-timers might resist investing if they hear / read new-fangled terms they don't understand.

  10. peakoil and nopec are toast.....take that to the bank.....100% correlation with oil and nucleation....old timers get out of the way because your utility is vanishing around you.

    chk is going to open utica, because utica is a by product of the serpent mound impactor, they know this and so do i.many more to follow....

  11. I do find it interesting how fast these plays are opening. Folks may not understand "why" yet, but someday ....