Link here to a drillingcontractor.org article.
There is an incredible video at the very beginning -- the AC Ideal Rig -- a National Oilwell Varco (NOV) rig. Coming into Williston from the west is the huge NOV complex. I always wondered what they did; now I know.
The video also explains why there are so many cranes in the Bakken and why Borsheim Crane Service has gotten so big in Williston.
BE SURE TO WATCH THE ANIMATION AT THE END of this video. Sons and daughters will want to grow up to be geologists, roughnecks, truck drivers, and LEGO modelers instead of policemen and firemen!
Some data points from the article:
- In 2011, 2,017 new wells were brought online in the Bakken, a number that will be eclipsed this year with the addition of 2,800 wells. “Brand-new wells are seeing initial production rates of 900 bbls/day,” ...
- Often characterized as a “layer cake” with sometimes complicated geology and long, extended-reach laterals with measured well depths as long as 22,000 ft, the Bakken has served as a proving ground of sorts for rig designs and technology that take into account everything from the geology and well profiles to weather, manpower challenges and lack of infrastructure.
- The company also has adopted a drilling wells on paper (DWOP) practice that breaks down the drilling operation into a series of processes, with rig crews focused on achieving the maximum technical limit for each stage. The program has resulted in a reduction of up to seven days in drilling time, ...
- But the play is just one of seven petroleum systems, or “pools,” that have been identified in the Williston Basin, suggesting “huge potential in upcoming years, much more than just the Bakken,” said Dr Steve Sonnenberg, professor of petroleum geology at the Colorado School of Mines and chair of the Bakken Research Consortium, a group of 35 companies researching the various aspects of the play.
- Encompassing much of North Dakota, parts of South Dakota and Montana and extending into Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada, the Williston Basin was deposited in the late Devonian and early Mississippian periods. The basin also includes the shallower Tyler play, where the first horizontal test using Bakken drilling technology is planned for Q4 this year; the deeper Mission Canyon and Red River plays; Duperow; Winnipegosis and Winnipeg Group.
- Operators also have conducted exploratory drilling in the Exshaw formation in northwestern Montana and Alberta, a region formed at the same time as the Williston Basin with very Bakken-like organic shale.
I will leave it at that, but the article is full of information about the Bakken boom. I'll find a place to link it on the sidebar at the right. It's that good.
When I read an article like this, it reminds me that the Bakken boom is not like any previous boom. The companies may be very, very competitive, and very, very secretive, but they are sharing "something" -- the Bakken Research Consortium and well as the UND geology folks (the geology school will soon have a new name, I think) are working behind the scenes to solve common problems. It really is very, very exciting.