Thursday, November 17, 2011

30-Second Sound Bites for Wells Most Recently Reported in North Dakota

These were the most recent wells reported in North Dakota and a comment or two about them:

17367, 213, CLR, Eric 11-24SH, Cedar Hills, North Red River B (not a Bakken)
  • Comment: not all wells being drilled in North Dakota are Bakken wells; some are from formations that were targeted in earlier booms; the North Red River B and the Red River are examples; CLR is probably the most active operator in North Dakota targeting "legacy" formations; I believe CLR assigns at least one rig for these "legacy" formations
20543, 1,031, North Plains Energy, Evitt 16-21H, Truax, Bakken,
  • I'm sure KOG was happy to see this very nice well; KOG recently announced plans to acquire North Plains and KOG will get this well
20530, 1,792, MRO, Ella USA 11-16H, Reunion Bay, Bakken,
  • Early on in this boom, it seemed MRO could not get an IP above 500; now MRO is consistently getting very, very good wells; this is another good well
19923, 865, Whiting, Richard 21-15TFH, Zenith, Bakken,
  • Comment: some of the acreage in the Zenith oil field was the "most expensive acreage" in the Basin; these are nice wells but nothing to deserve such a rich premium; something tells me it's all about a multi-pay play
19686, 343, Samson Resources, Love 11-2 1H, Wildcat, Bakken,
  • Comment: none.
19529, 1,054, EOG, Round Prairie 5-0904H, Painted Woods, Bakken
19409, 761, EOG, Mont 3-3403H, Painted Woods, Bakken,
19281, 1,474, EOG, Hardscrabble 13-3526H, Wildcat, Bakken
  • Comment: these three (3) EOG wells are really quite remarkable; first, they are great wells, and second, they are west of Williston, an area that has been surprisingly good for BEXP; it looks like EOG is taking a page from BEXP
20687, 1,482, BR, Capitol 34-7TFH, Westberg, Bakken, t10/11; cum 93K 6/12;
  • Comment: looks like a good day for fracking results. Of these nine most recently reported wells, this one was the only one was not completed within the six-month window, and was placed on DRL ("drill") status waiting to be completed/fracked; hopefully this trend continues
Remember, all new wells reporting are posted here.

455 Rocket -- Enjoy

455 Rocket, Kathy Mattea
 From wiki:

The Oldsmobile Rocket V8 was the first post-war OHV V8 at General Motors. Production started in 1949, with a new generation introduced in 1964. Like Pontiac, Olds continued building its own V8 engine family for decades, finally adopting the corporate Chevrolet 350 small-block and Cadillac Northstar engine only in the 1990s. All Oldsmobile V-8's were manufactured at plants in Lansing, Michigan.

No Longer Stumped -- The Pronghorn Sand / Whiting's Pronghorn Prospect -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA


Whiting Petroleum drilled 217 oil wells in Billings and Stark counties targeting the Pronghorn Member of the Bakken Formation from 2010-2014.
In their own words, they drilled these wells and pursued this oil play based upon their work in the Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library.
As of November 2014, these wells had produced 19,542,147 barrels of oil. Using just the oil extraction tax and a conservative price of $40/ barrel, Whiting’s Pronghorn oil play has generated more than $50,800,000. That is more than three times the $13.6 million core library expansion.
In November 2014, Whiting Petroleum’s 217 Pronghorn oil wells produced 558,412 barrels or 18,613 barrels per day. These wells generated $48,400 in extraction taxes per day (at $40 per barrel). At that rate, the extraction tax pays off the Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library expansion project in 280 days. 

From an OXY USA report in the Manning oil field, general area of Whiting's Pronghorn prospect:


August 13, 2015: the Pronghorn Federal wells are tracked here.

August 8, 2012:
  • 20079, 2,760, Whiting, Obrigewitch 21-16TFH, Bell, t2/12; cum 117K 6/12; 
June 5, 2012: this is what I wrote in reply to a comment elsewhere:
1. For others who are following this discussion, the presentation referenced above is found at this site:; presentation GI-136 at the link. 
2. Remember, I am an amateur at all this. The third map over, on the linked presentation above, certainly seems relevant to the area under discussion.

3. I think this is developing faster than even Whiting expected. Remember, the Pronghorn Prospect was carved out of the Lewis&Clark. In Whiting's most recent corporate presentation (which I linked today), this is the first time that Whiting has publicly separated the Lewis&Clark from the Pronghorn Prospect on their corporate presentation.

4. I agree with you; the proposed pipeline (south of the interstate) suggests Whiting is looking a lot farther south than first suggested (and I posted that thought earlier today).

5. I have listed the oil fields that I think are in the Whiting Pronghorn Prospect, and have asked for help in clarifying; to date no one has contradicted what I've posted. The post is here:

6. Whiting will help us out with this. They are designating their wells that are targeting the Pronghorn Sand with a "PH" designation.

7. Right now, I consider any Whiting well twelve miles north or twelve miles south of the area between Dickinson/Belfield (and inclusive) as part of their Pronghorn Prospect unless evidence to the contrary.

8. In Whiting's current corporate presentation, the first one in which they separate the Pronghorn from the L&C (

  • Sanish/Parshall: 83,000 net acres for Whiting
  • Pronghorn Prospect: 121,402 net acres for Whiting
  • Lewis & Clark Prospect: 128,370 net acres for Whiting
May 28, 2012: see first comment on naming the Pronghorn formation.

May 24, 2012: Prior to the Bismarck Bakken conference, CLR estimated 24 billion bbls recoverable oil from the Bakken Pool (Bakken formations and Three Forks formations). On the last day of the conference, Harold Hamm said this
[CLR] now believes there is as much as 27 billion to 45 billion barrels of oil recoverable from the Bakken based on production from two previously untapped bench zones in the resource.
The article went on immediately to talk about the Pronghorn Sand, so was one of the "two previously untapped bench zones," the Pronghorn Sand? If so, what is the second zone he was talking about? The second bench of the Three Forks? Most likely.  I wonder if the "original" Three Forks wells are all considered "first bench" wells?

Sorting this out, I wonder if CLR suggested 24 billion bbls with original middle Bakken and Three Forks; raised it to 27 billion with the second bench; and then to 45 billion with the Pronghorn Sand. The delta would be approximately 18 billion for the Pronghorn Sand which seems reasonable (as a percent) based on the geographic size (surface area) of the Pronghorn Sand. But, it is way to early to guess based on the little public information. 

May 10, 2012: Whiting's 1Q12 corporate presentation: 121,403 net acres in the Pronghorn prospect.

February 7, 2012, WLL's corporate presentation: in the Lewis & Clark: no Bakken; thin Pronghorn Sand; mostly Three Forks; Pronghorn prospect: thick Pronghorn -- 35 feet; no Bakken. 

November 25, 2011: I may be slow, but at least I eventually catch on. It just dawned on me. I could be wrong, but Whiting was perhaps one of the earliest to designate their Three Forks Sanish horizontals with the "TF" before the "H" yielding TFH.  With the "P" lettering preceding the "H" they obviously want to identify this formation.Technically, the "Pronghorn Sand"  is part of the upper Three Forks and the company could have simply stayed with the TFH designation . Separating this out, suggests to me the CEO feels strongly that the Pronghorn Sand will be different enough from the TF that it required its unique designation. The question, now, is whether CLR will differentiate the four (4) benches on the "bottom" side of the Three Forks formation.

See comment from Mary -- my hunch that it stood for "Pronghorn" was correct, but I was sure on shaky ground on that. It's very interesting that they would put "prospect" designations there. A big thank you to Mary for researching this and posting it. 

Pronghorn Well Completions

May 10, 2012: More Pronghorn results here.
From the slides: Pronghorn 4Q11 Completions, in BOEPD
  • 20131, 1,645, Pronghorn Federal 34-11TFH, Park oil field;
  • 20404, 1,849, Pronghorn Federal 21-14TFH, Park oil field;
  • 20124, 889, Brueni 21-16TFH, New Hradec;
  • 20893, 3,218, Mastel 41-18TFH, Bell;
  • 21483, 2,694, Marsh 21-16TFH-R, Dutch Henry Butte,
  • 21018, 1,740, Obrigewitch 11-17TFH, Bell
  • 20504, 3,225, Pronghorn Federal 21-13TFH, Park
  • Pronghorn average: 2,184

Pronghorn Sand/Bakken Formation

Note: all references to the Pronghorn Sand as being part of the Three Forks formation should be updated; it was correct when it was first blogged. However, in its February 7, 2012, presentation, Whiting said that the Pronghorn Sand is part of the Bakken formation. 

Sometime in 2011, Whiting started referring to a new prospect as the Pronghorn prospect, a bit southeast of their Lewis & Clark prospect in southwestern North Dakota. Over time, a bit more information trickled out, and now, based on a recent Whiting corporate presentation, it appears there is a new formation at least in some parts of the Bakken: the Pronghorn Sand, an upper formation which is just below the Bakken. See slide 16 of Whiting's November, 2011, presentation (unfortunately those presentations will change over time, and this slide may be "lost").

The Pronghorn Sand is thick and prospective in three Whiting areas: a) Pronghorn Prospect; b) Big Stick in the Lewis & Clark Prospect; O'Neil Creek in the Lewis & Clark Prospect; and, c) the Elkhorn Ranch area of the Lewis & Clark Prospect.

The graphic reveals that in Whiting's Tarpon prospect there is the well-understood middle Bakken, lower Bakken, and Three Forks formations. Whiting is presently drilling into both the middle Bakken and the Three Forks in their Tarpon prospect. [Note: Whiting is drilling into B Zone of the middle Bakken in the Sanish; the C Zone of the middle Bakken in prospects south of the Sanish; and into the Pronghorn Sands farther southwest.]

In their Lewis & Clark prospect, the middle Bakken thins out to be almost negligible, but the Three Forks remains fairly thick (about the same as elsewhere in the Williston Basin). Interestingly enough, the Pronghorn Sands just begins to show up in the Lewis & Clark, and although not very thick, is thick enough to be drilled.

In the Pronghorn prospect, the middle Bakken becomes very thin. The Three Forks remains the same, but here the Pronghorn Sand is very thick and the target for Whiting drilling.

These are the oil fields inside Whiting's Pronghorn Prospect (my best guess; will be updated as new information flows), but consider the area between Dickinson and Belfield, especially north of the interstate as the area of the Pronghorn Prospect:

Pronghorn Prospect, north of I-94, between Dickinson and Belfield
  • Whiskey Joe -- nw of Park, Park west of Bell
  • Bell -- north of Belfield
  • Park -- east of Bell
  • North Creek -- between Bell and New Hradec
  • New Hradec -- east of Bell, ne of Zenith
  • Dutch Henry Butte -- east of New Hradec
  • Green River -- east of Belfield, north of Zenith, north of I-94; west of Dickinson
Pronghorn Prospect, south of I-94, west of Dickinson
  • South Heart -- south of Dutch Henry Butte -- south of I-94; west of Dickinson
  • Zenith -- south of Bell, east of Belfield; west of South Heart; south of I-94; west of Dickinson
  • Gaylord -- south of Belfield; south of the interstate; west of Zenith
  • Fryburg -- sw of  Belfield; west of Gaylord
  • Davis Creek -- sw of Belfield; south of Fryburg; southwest of Gaylord oil field
Original Post
I'm usually not this stumped (I may not know what's going on, but at least I can make something up or come up with an idea) but in this case, I have absolutely no idea.

A reader sent me this:
Noticed Whiting well Kubas 34-12PH on the drilling list as the next location after SOLBERG 34-12TFH. They seem to be at the same location. I haven't seen the PH designation before. Any idea what it means? 
It's not a typo. Permit number 21895 in the Bell oil field is named the Kubas 34-12PH. I can't believe the "P" stands for "Pronghorn" prospect, but that's all I can think of. The only formations in this area: Bakken, Three Forks, Lodgepole, and Tyler.

So, if anyone knows what the "P" stands for there are at least two folks who would be interested.

Thirteen (13) New Permits -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

For newbies, thirteen new permits at the end of the week is huge. Normally I can count on about six to eight new permits on a given day. When one hits double digits, it's a pretty big day, but thirteen permits on a Thursday is huge.  If this trend were to continue, it would put us well over 2,000 new permits this calendar year. Right now, we are on track for 1,914 new permits for calendar year 2011. 

Daily activity report, November, 17, 2011 --
Operators: Enerplus (4), Legacy (2), Burlington Resources (2), Crescent Point Energy (2), OXY USA, Hess, and Petro Harvester

Fields: South Fork, Manning, Haystack Butte, Murphy Creek, South Coteau

Crescent Point has permits for two wildcats; Legacy has permits for two permits.

Not one well came off the confidential list and no wells on DRL status reported an IP.

Bakken Residence Suites -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA


When you get to the site, note the location.
  • Three miles from Watford City.
  • 46 miles from Williston.
These folks are "in" Watford City, right where peak activity is likely to be occurring this next summer in the Bakken.

Another Crude-By-Rail Story in the Bakken -- Tesoro Refinery to Ship ND Crude to Its Washington State Refinery

Link here.
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven says Tesoro is planning a $60 million rail shipping project to move Bakken crude oil from western North Dakota to its refinery in Anacortes, Wash.
Data points:
  • To be completed in the second quarter 2012
  • Tesoro to ship oil to either its Mandan refinery or its refinery at Anacortes, Washington
  • Tesoro announced earlier this year a $35 million expansion project at Mandan; increase capacity from 10,000 to 68,000 bbls daily
  • The amount of oil from North Dakota to the Anacortes facility will increased from 2,000 bopd to 30,000 bopd
  • An unloading facility will need to be built at Anacortes; 12 months to complete; $50 million
  • Oil loading facility in Williams County; owned by Rangeland Oil, LLC
  • Connected to Tesoro's High Plains Pipeline System
  • 20 new permanent jobs will be created at the Mandan refinery (that's 20 more jobs than the president created today -- considering he killed the Keystone XL pipeline, he's got quite a ways to go to get back to even)
    I believe the new proposed diesel refinery at Trenton, North Dakota, will have capacity of 20,000 bopd.


    Folks periodically suggest all this activity has all the earmarks of a boom and bust story when they see the stories on NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" or the nightly news. But when I see another company spending $50 million on one project directly tied to the Bakken, I can only assume these guys have done their homework.

    I think of the Kashagan story: "After 11 years and $39 billion of investment, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and their partners have yet to sell a drop of oil from what was touted as the world's biggest discovery in four decades......$15 billion over budget .... 8 years behind schedule ... and the project may never even be profitable ...

    "The prize for the five main partners is as much as 252,000 barrels of crude a day each from peak output once the second phase is running. That kind of production is growing harder to find worldwide as existing fields age and governments in the Middle East, Russia and Latin America reserve control for state companies."

    Did you catch that? 252,000 bopd WITH COMPLETION OF THE SECOND PHASE. And there is no stomach for starting the second phase now! One wonders what production will be in the first phase. Certainly significant less.

    To put that into perspective, 5 x 252,000 --> 1.26 million bopd. Folks are predicting as much as 1.5 million bopd from the Bakken in less than ten years, and unlike the Kashagan, the Bakken is already providing a cash flow for the drillers, and a profit.

    Let's say, the first phase is half -- 600,000 bopd, and North Dakota is within that target, easily.

    Billionaire Buffett's Bakken Boom -- Investor's Business Daily -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA


    The IBD was a bit late to the party with this story. The gist of the story has been circulating since early October. This is probably the best source: when you get to the post, go to the links for one of the first to write about the Buffett connection. I have no idea how likely Warren Buffett's folks were involved. And, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. The buck stops at the Oval Office, and that's where the decision was made.

    Original Post
    There are some errors in this story, suggesting that it was written more than a year ago, and re-posted today.

    Investor's Business Daily re-posting old stories with new ledes?

    The lede is current:
    Energy Policy: Killing the Keystone XL pipeline may help one of the world's richest men get richer. North Dakota's booming oil fields will now grow more dependent on a railroad the president's economic guru just bought.
    But this next paragraph is a year old:
    Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe in a deal valuing the railroad at $34 billion. Berkshire Hathaway already owns about 22% of Burlington Northern, and will pay $100 a share in cash and stock for the rest of the company.
    Warren closed on the Burlington Northern in 2010:

    And then this little gem:
    Rail shipments accounted for up to 65,000 of the nearly 343,000 barrels of oil produced daily in North Dakota in December. That percentage is likely to increase.
    What's wrong in that sentence? Well, two things with regard to timeliness -- first, it says oil produced daily in December. December, 2011, isn't here yet, so the writer is referring to December, almost a year ago. And the "343,000 barrels of oil produced daily in North Dakota." Well, that was SOOOO last year. We are nearing 500,000 bbls/day.

    The last three paragraphs, if still accurate, are interesting data points:
    Many of the rail shipments from the Bakken fields are being handled by BNSF Railway Co., which has more than 1,000 miles of tracks in the region.

    Michael Bruce, the railroad's business development director, said BNSF could ship up 730,000 barrels of crude daily out of North Dakota "contingent on facilities being built."

    North Dakota pumped a record 113 million barrels of oil in 2010. State officials estimate the state will produce 700,000 barrels daily in four to seven years.
    I am somewhat flabbergasted that IBD -- a source I normally respect -- would let this reporting get by. 

    With regard to the point of the story: Warren Buffett standing to reap huge benefits -- this is already an old story.

    On Track for 1882 New Permits for North Dakota in Calendar Year 2011

    With 1,670 new permits issued this year, and at 320 calendar days in the year so far, "we" are on track for 1,882 new permits this year; most of them will be for the Bakken Pool.

    Previous years:
    • 2006: 422
    • 2007: 497
    • 2008: 953
    • 2009: 628
    • 2010: 1,682
    • 2011: 1,882 (estimate as of November 16, 2011)

    Car Sales Up -- Noting To Do With The Bakken

    Earlier this morning, perhaps on CNBC or the radio, there was talk that automobile sales may hit a record this month.
    Light-vehicle sales in October rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.3 million, matching February's pace that was the best since August 2009 when sales were boosted by the U.S. government's "cash for clunkers" program, according to Autodata Corp.

    Industry sales may be "flat to slightly up" next year, Johnson said today.

    "Talk of a double-dip recession appears to be receding," he said. "We need improvement in the labor market to support consumer spending. The European debt crisis remains a concern."
    A voice over -- radio, not television -- attributed any sales record to "pent-up demand, greater selection of vehicles."

    The question that always needs to be asked, "why this month?" Why not last month; why not next month? What could explain the jump in November, 2011? Certainly pent-up demand didn't just happen this month. I can't quantify "greater selection of vehicles," but it's my understanding that General Motors has been cutting model lines over the past couple of years, and that probably holds true for others.

    Could it be that some Americans have more expendable cash? Two things. Federal income tax was due April 15, with four-month extension. That brings us to August. Some high-income folks have finally closed their books on 2010 federal taxes. But for the broad majority of middle-income folks, there was something else: no new mortgage payments. No mortgage payments frees up huge amount of discretionary cash. Mortgage applications fell ten (10) percent last month.
    Mortgage applications decreased 10 percent from one week earlier, as refinancing fell despite consistently low loan rates.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey on Wednesday showed a 12.2 percent drop in refinancing activity, along with a 2.3 percent decrease in purchases, for the week that ended Nov. 11, with an adjustment for the Veterans Day holiday.
    Folks who have the money, but don't want to buy a new home for some reason, will likely spend the cash on some other big-ticket item, especially if the wage earner wants to keep peace in the family.  

    5:40 a.m. -- Starting the Day at 201 Active Drilling Rigs -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

    Dynamic link here.

    The record is 203, set just a few days ago.

    Aerial Photos of the Bakken

    A reader alerted me to aerial photos that have been posted at Facebook.

    Salazar on Fracking Regs: We're The Government and We're Here To Help

    Link here.

    My hunch is there will be 512 pages of fracking regulations. As a rule of thumb, each page of federal regulation costs the subject $1,000. Thus, one can assume the new regulations will add approximately $512,000 per fracked well. The biggest trick will be how to monetize the regulations so that the "frack and trade" revenue generated goes to the federal government, bypassing the state. The real money-maker for the government will be the fines and penalties.