The Leigh Price Paper
The original Leigh Price paper that "predicted" the Bakken boom is chock full of little nuggets.
I've read the paper once before -- maybe three years ago -- and have occasionally gone back and re-read parts of it. I am not a geologist and don't understand much of what was written. But, if read very slowly, literally line-by-line and stopping to think about what Price has just written, one can get a pretty good idea of what he is saying. Actually I'm impressed with how readable it is for a layperson considering the audience.
On page 19 of this 282-page paper, Price begins discussion of the "Fairway" and the heterogeneities of the Bakken as described in an earlier paper.
Local production heterogeneities (e.g., where two spatially-close wells produced vastly different amounts of oil) were assumed to be due to heterogeneities in reservoir geology between the two wells over short lateral distances. [Price's italics.]Price argues that no proof was offered to support that differences in neighboring wells was due to geology; in contrast, Price shows in this paper that the geology (under discussion) is constant over the entire area of discussion in the Williston Basin. [my bold]
What does that mean? Price agrees that there are "pronounced local and regional production heterogeneities" between Bakken wells "throughout the Bakken HC kitchen."
However, these production heterogeneities appear to be completely due to variable drilling, completion, stimulation, and maintenance procedures applied to different Bakken wells. Application of procedures appropriate to the unique characteristics of the Bakken Source System results in productive wells. Our studies suggest that very rarely does variatio in local geology have any measurable effect on the productivities of Bakken Source System wells.As a side note, I've read any number of references to the "Fairway" and I knew its general location, but it was rewarding to find a geologist's description of the Fairway and why it was so named.