Sunday, December 16, 2012

Connecting Dots Again -- Serendipity This Time

Link to The Bismarck Tribune.
Near where the borders of Fergus, Musselshell and Golden Valley counties meet south of the Little Snowy Mountains, two billionaire Texas brothers have quietly collected more than 177,000 acres of ranch land in the last two years.But that's only a portion of the property that Farris Wilks, 60, and Dan Wilks, 56, have accumulated in Montana. In all, they own more than 276,000 acres in seven counties in the eastern half of the state.
Go to the link for the full story. [Thank you, Don, for this link.]

The article does not say whether the land they bought includes minerals but my hunch is that they got at least a percentage.

But that's not why I linked the story.

Long time readers of the MDW might have caught another data point in the article.

A hint: top fracking companies in the Bakken.

At the link in The Bismarck Tribune:
They were raised in a working-class family. They started out in a masonry business that their father founded and where they still sit on the board of directors.
In 2002 they branched out into the oil business, starting a company called Frac Tech. Their fortune came from selling their interest in Frac Tech in 2011, a deal that was reportedly worth $3.2 billion. That sale landed them on the Forbes magazine list of little-known billionaires, ranking 312 out of 400 on the list.
Interesting, huh?

Random Note On Two More Wildcats -- The Williston Basin

There are Spearfish oil fields to the east and to the west of these two wildcats, but these are real wildcats. More to follow; I just want to post before I forget.
  • 24017, DRY, Zurcher 1, Armstrong Operating, Wildcat, a Madison well, Bottineau County,
  • 24023, PNC, Ommedal 1, Armstrong Operating, Wildcat, a Madison well, Bottineau County,

Fracking Presentation

I posted this earlier elsewhere on the blog, but it might be missed.

A nice presentation re: challenges with fracking, a PDF file so it might take a moment to load. A great source document; several story lines. Maybe more later.

Random Note On Another Clarks Creek Oil Field Well -- The Bakken, Williston Basin

This is quite incredible. A reader sent this in as a comment after the update of EOG Clarks Creek oil wells in Clarks Creek and Antelope oil fields.
Keep an eye out for EOG's Hawkeye 100-2501H. Only one well out of two has been completed on that pad. Production wise it will be double of the Clark Creek wells. It was also the largest job in terms of lbs of sand and stages that I have heard of. 
This well is still confidential, but look at the production runs to date, confirming the reader's note:
  • 22486, conf, EOG, Hawkeye 100-2501H, Clarks Creek oil field, Three Forks, 75K in less than two months; no IP yet; it won't come off the confidential list until March 18, 2013.
DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 Every time I think I can end the day of blogging about the Bakken, something else seems to come in that "blows me away." This certainly is such an occasion. I can't wait to see the file report after the well comes off the confidential list. 75,000 bbls in less than two months.

A Well to Watch -- The Williston Basin


December 26, 2012: still on confidential; drilling may be complete. Possibly targeting the Lodgepole. 

Later, 11:01 pm: I was pretty excited when I saw this rig and tying it to oil service activity in Minot, but readers have suggested I may be a bit excessively exuberant in my connecting the dots this time. Smile. It wouldn't be the first time of seeing too much. See the comments; they are very, very good. And much appreciated.

Original Post

A reader alerted me to a well that I had completely missed.

The reader noticed a rig a couple of miles east of Voltaire, North Dakota.  Voltaire is about 23 miles southeast of Minot. This is significantly east of the current boom, and significantly east of any known oil activity in the Williston Basin.

This is a good time to take a look at the location of Minot / Voltaire, North Dakota.

Now, re-familiarize yourself with the oil-producing locations in North Dakota.

Overlay the second map over the first map. Oil production in this area? Oil activity in this area? Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

Now, go to the NDIC GIS map, locate Voltaire, Minot, and the local area. Over the last twenty or thirty years, there have been a half-dozen wells drilled a bit to the west and/or south (all dry) and even fewer drilled farther east (again, all dry). Those dry wells, were for the most part, were targeting the Madison formation.

The rig/permit east of Voltaire; southeast of Minot:
  • 24329, conf, Cambridge Production Inc, Larson 1, Wildcat. A vertical.  
This is their first permit in North Dakota according to the NDIC site.

And it's a genuine wildcat. Nothing in that area.

Cambridge Production is an oil and gas company located in Amarillo, Texas. Some of their permitting activity can be found at this site:
The company appears not to be publicly traded, so it will be hard to find out much about them.

Hold that thought.


Baker Hughes built three mega-complexes in the past couple of years: one each in Dickinson, Minot, and Williston. There has been some speculation why Baker Hughes would build such a large complex in Minot. Minot seems a bit east of the current oil activity to warrant a complex of this size. I have not been to Minot recently, but apparently there is more oil service activity in the city than activity in the local area would seem to warrant (e-mail from folks living/working there). [And, of course, the huge, new airport to be built in Minot.]

It's possible that all this oil services activity in Minot is there because a) Williston was simply getting too expensive/too crowded to locate there (but this would not explain a third Baker Hughes complex, the one in Minot; they were already in Williston); and/or, b) the Spearfish activity north and northwest of Minot.

But what if after thirty years or so, the oil industry has newer data that suggests there is recoverable oil southeast of Minot? This would explain the Cambridge wildcat and all the oil service activity in Minot.


Perhaps just idle rambling, but a vertical well east of Voltaire is a very interesting development. And I have to thank a reader for alerting me to this rig east of Voltaire. I completely missed it.

Putting Things Into Perspective -- The Bakken -- Well Density

Compare a story posted earlier today with oil activity elsewhere in the state.

First, remember this story posted earlier today: Turkey hunter with mixed feelings about oil activity in his backyard? Without more specifics, it's hard to say exactly how many rigs and/or wells are in his backyard/hunting grounds, but here are some data points:
  • the Corral Creek field is 60 sections big
  • a section is a mile square, so this field would be the equivalent of 5 x 12 miles, or 6 x 10 miles
  • there are currently two rigs in this 60-square mile area
  • one could drive a lot of miles before seeing a rig in this area (60 square miles, two rigs)
  • the number of existing permits/wells in this field works out to about 1 well for every two-section spacing unit; a few of these wells have not even been drilled yet;
  • seventeen sections on the north side of the field have no wells or even any permits yet; no change in a huge part of this field yet (at least, not due to the oil industry)
  • so, you sort of get the idea of how active the field is at this point in time (not very, compared to let's say, the Brooklyn)
Now, go to section 16-161-79 in the Newburg oil field, an older Spearfish field:
  • there are no less than twelve (12) wells sited on this one section; drilled during an earlier period of activity (in comparison: there are almost no "Bakken" sections with twelve wells yet; some with that many permits, but very few with 12 wells drilled)
  • in addition, there is a thirteenth well -- a horizontal -- running under this section (16-161-79)
  • six (6) wells sited in this section are still active
  • to the best of my knowledge, I am unaware of any concern with all the oil activity in this field
  • to the best of my knowledge, this section is doing fine -- but I have not been there, and I could be wrong, but I haven't seen any media reporting regarding the six wells that are still producing in this section causing any problems
  • so, we have a section with 12 sited wells and a 13th horizontal below the surface....
The point is that despite 12 - 13 wells in this one section, and no media reports that I am aware of in the last couple of years about this section with any problems.

By the way, some of those 12 -13 wells in that section, all Spearfish wells:
  • 1656, 24, Enduro Operating, Newburg-Spearfish-Charles Unit N-710, t4/58; cum 638K 10/12;
  • 1948, 30, Enduro Operating, Newburg-Spearfish-Charles Unit - P710, t8/58; cum 380K 10/12;
  • 2079, 33, Enduro Operating, Newburg-Spearfish-Charles Unit M-711, t11/58, cum 810K 10/12;
  • 7727, 57, Enduro Operating, Newburg-Spearfish-Charles Unit O-712, t12/80; cum 213K 10/12;
  • 7728, 11, Enduro Operating, Newburg-Spearfish-Charles Unit P-713, t11/80; cum 235K 10/12;
  • 7729, 3, Hess, Newburg-Spearfish-Charles Unit N-713, t11/80; cum 47K 11/80;
  • 16712, 17, Enduro Operating, NSCU P-715AH, t10/07; cum 27K 10/12;
  • 16745, 40, Enduro Operating, NSCU M-711AH, t10/07; cum 55K 10/12;
On a positive note, cumulatives of 380,000 bbls to 810,000 bbls is not trivial, especially considering that all of these wells were vertical wells except for #16745.

Producing Wells Now Completed With High IPs; Wells Coming Off Confidential List

Below the comments are the wells that are coming off the confidential list Monday. Some quick comments:
  • MDW just posted a special stand-alone post one EOG's Clarks Creek wells; now another huge Clarks Creek well (see below); 100K since 7/12 (less than four months of production; already at 100K)
  • Sauk oil field has come up a couple of times recently; Sauk is a small oil field, only 12 sections, northeast corner of Williams County (northeast of Williston); section 8-159-95 has a 320-acre spacing unit, the only such unit (so far) in this part of the Bakken;
  • anyone wanna bet that re: the BEXP Gunderson well, it will be a) huge, eventually; but, b) tomorrow, it will be on "DRL" status
  • another "Observation" well in the Hawkeye oil field; this has historically been a great Madison field
  • Union Center oil field has been updated
Monday, December 17, 2012
21481, 691,  Liberty Resources, Cornabean 156-101-25-36-1H, Tyrone, 64K in production since 6/12; t7/12; cum 68K 10/12;
21897, 598, OXY USA, State Hecker 1-2-11H-142-98, Willmen, 19K in production since 6/12; t6/12; cum 19K 10/12;
22010, 324, Petro-Hunt, Wold 160-94-32A-5-4H, North Tioga, t11/12; cum --
22342, 1,142, MRO, Lorene Stohler 11-3TFH, Bailey, t9/12; cum 6K 10/12;
22408, 113, CLR, Proch 1-7H, St Demetrius, 9K since 9/12; t9/12; cum 10K 10/12;
22819, 560, SM Energy, Oakland 13-31H, Cartwright, t9/12; cum 12K 10/12;
22972, drl, Hess, HA-Swenson Observation-19-2, Hawkeye,
22976, drl, SM Energy, Holm 14X-12H, Siverston,
23005, drl, BEXP, Gunderson 15-22TFH, Banks,
23008, 1,542, XTO, Sass 34X-8E, Hofflund; 22K since 8/12; t9/12; cum 23K 10/12;

Sunday, December 16, 2012
21417, drl, CLR, Lovdahl 2-16H, Sauk,
21728, 793, Petro-Hunt, Anderson 152-06-35D-26-4H, Clear Creek, 40K since 8/12; t8/12; cum 40K 10/12;
22482, 1,696, BEXP, Wright 4-33 3TFH, Alger, 20K since 9/12; t9/12; cum 21K 10/12;
22720, drl, CLR, Grant 1-16H, Corinth,
22772, drl, Hess, EN-Skabo Trust 155-93-0631H-3, Alger,
22960, 698, American Eagle, Anton 3-4-163-101, Colgan, 15K since 9/12; t9/12; cum 13K 10/12;

Saturday, December 15, 2012
20602, 670, EOG, Clarks Creek 15-0805H, Antelope, 100K since 7/12; t7/12; cum 102K 10/12;
21702, drl, XTO, Nygaard Federal 13X-5A, Lost Bridge,
22047, 254, Fidelity, Tuhy Homestead 14-23H, New Hradec, 14K since 7/12; t7/12; cum 14K 10/12;
22793, 465, SM Energy, Leininger 4-27H, Colgan, 19K since 8/12; t8/12; cum 20K 10/12;
22992, 758, Zenergy, Nohly Lake, 8K in two months; t9/12; cum 9K 10/12;

Producing Wells Now Completed With High Initial Production Numbers
all, except #20627, have been reported previously
  • 22624, 2,162, BEXP, Smith Farm 23-14 3TFH, Cow Creek, t9/12; cum 17K 10/12; 
  • 22587, 2,633, BEXP, Lonnie 15-22 3H, Ragged Butte, t10/12; cum 20K 10/12;
  • 22700, 1,171, SM Energy, Norby 9X-20HA, Charlson, t8/12; cum 53K 10/12;
  • 20627, 2,499, Whiting, Lindseth 12-12TFH, Sanish, t11/11; cum 97K 10/12;
  • 22623, 3,383, BEXP, Heen 26-35 3TFH, Todd, t9/12; cum 26K 10/12;
  • 20823, 2,880, BR, Arches 44-35TFH, Keene, t6/12; cum 76K 10/12;

Human Interest Story on Wind Energy In Minnesota

Link here to

A map of slicers and dicers in the United States. (It may be a problem to load; it loaded the second time I tried.)
This map contains nearly 1,000 total wind farm locations, including: in service, under construction, proposed and decommissioned locations. All locations (excluding decommissioned sites) have a combined wind power capacity with potential for generating up to 53,700 MW.
Compare those 1,000 wind farms with what one nuclear power plant can do, and do it more cheaply than wind, from the EIA:
In 2011, the "average" nuclear power plant in the United States generated about 12.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). There were 65 nuclear power plants with 104 operating nuclear reactors that generated a total of 790 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), or slightly more than 19% of the nation's electricity.
This about sums it up:
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., favors extending the production tax credit, known as PTC. But he struggles to find a scenario in which a majority of his colleagues in the Republican-controlled House will agree.
"Wind energy is way down the list of priorities [of tax breaks] for extensions," Peterson said. "I just don't see how this gets done."
Among those who don't support the extension is Minnesota Republican Rep. John Kline. His spokesman, Troy Young, said that while the original intent of the program was to increase renewable energy production, Kline is concerned about extending programs that artificially drive up demand.
After 20 years of federal support, Young said, wind should be able to stand on its own.
Data points:
  • twenty years of federal support
  • expedited approval; environmental concerns blown away
  • "everyone" loves 'em
  • full immunity from liability regarding slicing and dicing eagles, hawks, whooping cranes, bats
  • will increase use of fossil fuel
  • increases utility rates in a most regressive manner
  • tax credits; less revenue for schools and other government funded programs
  • wind farms generally preclude dual use of land
  • will be there forever (theoretically; that's why they are called renewable)
And the math doesn't add up.

Senator Harry Reid knows that. It's a little bit hard to tell on the map, but there appear to be none, nada, zilch, nil wind farms in Nevada. 

Human Interest Story on Corral Creek

Link here to The Bismarck Tribune.
After three days of legging it through buttes and ravines, Paul Ziolkowski, of Lansford, bagged one and his wife another, when normally they’d have killed a dozen or more in the same time.
Blame it on the oil.

And so it goes.

Corral Creek is linked in the sidebar at the right.

On another note, the article confirms my database:
  • in 2012, 18 new permits for BR in this field; 4 new permits for CLR in this field
  • "they" have started drilling the Three Forks
I did not know, or had forgotten that COP purchased 50 percent of the mineral acres in the unit from BR. 
The 30,000-acre unit was approved about a year ago by the North Dakota Industrial Commission at the request of ConocoPhillips which purchased 50 percent of the mineral acres in the unit from Burlington Resources.
I assume it is simply moving money and assets around for various reasons: BR is a wholly-owned subsidiary of COP.  But yes, #22815 well file shows that the operator is now COP:
  • 22815, 1,643, COP/BR, CCU Powell 21-29MBH, 29-147-95; 2-well pad;  t10/12; cum 5K 10/12;
For newbies who want to see how dense the wells are in the Bakken, see Vern Whitten's photographs and scroll through. [Something I had not noticed before: from the air, the oil pads are about the size of North Dakota "homesteads" -- the living area of the farmer and his/her family -- the home, the garages, the barns, the stables, the out-buildings, the corrals, etc; in many cases, the pads are actually much smaller than the farmsteads.]