Remember this post, just a few days ago. Just moments ago I was alerted to a PowerPoint presentation was inserted into a North Dakota business meeting, the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association, where CLR/CEO spoke. In his remarks, Harold Hamm said:
The magnitude of the current oil play, quite frankly, is staggering. Mr. Hamm made it very clear that this is not a short two or three year oil boom and then a big bust. His projections would see drilling activities continuing in excess of 20 years, followed by years of supporting production activities. Mr. Hamm suggested that there will be some 48,000 wells drilled in North Dakota’s western oil patch in that period of time.My hunch is that the 48,000 represents more than just the Bakken Pool.
That was posted back on April 27, 2010. In the lead paragraph in a Minot Daily News story on April 27, 2010:
"The head of the state department that oversees mineral resources in North Dakota says it will take 10,000 to 20,000 wells to fully develop the Bakken-Three Forks Formations."The four major oil counties in North Dakota comprise 9,032 square miles: Mountrail (1,941 square miles); Williams (2,148 square miles); Dunn (2,082 square miles); and, McKenzie (2,861 square miles).
Coming out of the Enercom Conference and recent corporate presentations elsewhere suggests that four (4) wells per section will be the norm in the future. BEXP has already proved 4.5 wells/spacing unit is possible; BEXP has announced a pilot program testing 5.5 wells/spacing unit. CLR says 8 wells/spacing unit should be the norm.
The math works out. At 4 wells/spacing unit, one can come up with about 18,000 wells in those four counties. It's remarkable how close the figures come, 18,000 vs 20,000. If CLR is correct, closer to 8 wells/spacing unit, we get to an astounding 36,000 wells in those four counties.
This does not include Divide County, smaller, not as productive; Burke County, fairly good in the south; and the excitement in the southwestern part of the state right now: Golden Valley, Billings, and Stark Counties.
At a 1,000 wells/year, this works out to a minimum of 20 years of drilling, again, a number consistent with past estimates.