I normally wouldn't post this: regular readers see these numbers frequently on this blog.
But the story needs to be clarified in case newbies run across it. The story says that oil wells in North Dakota are now costing about twice what they did in 2007.
Wells in 2007 were short laterals (one section); wells in 2011 are long laterals (two sections).
That should be sufficient for most folks.
But then this: wells are offset 250 - 500 feet from a section line, meaning that a short lateral can leave 500 to 1,000 feet of a 5,280-foot long section untouched. Drilling a 1,280-acre unit, across a section line "captures" at least another 500 feet, maybe more. In addition, I believe that the state may be lowering the number of feet wells must be placed from a section line, but I don't know.