Monday, August 26, 2013

Update Of The Spearfish Oil Patch In North Dakota

Today, three Spearfish wells in the North Souris oil field came off the confidential list. One well is a Legacy well and two are Corinthian wells; as regular readers know, I can never remember the relationship among Surge, Legacy, or Corinthian (same link as the Legacy link), and I won't sort those companies out now. I'm just interested in the Spearfish in general at the moment.

I follow the Spearfish here

If I had to provide a 30-second soundbite/data points regarding the Spearfish in North Dakota (see "Welcome/Disclaimer" and purpose of the blog):
  • Canadian operators have the most experience with the Spearfish in this area
  • the Spearfish in North Dakota is north/northeast of the Bakken, straddling the Canadian border
  • Canadian Spearfish wells cost $1.5 million; North Dakota Spearfish wells cost $3 million (vs $7 million or more for a Bakken well)
  • Spearfish spacing is 320-acres or 640 acre (vs 640-acres or 1280-acres for a Bakken well)
  • 200,000 lbs of proppant vs 4 million lbs of proppant in the Bakken
  • total depth of 7,000 feet vs 14,000 feet (short lateral) or 20,000 feet (long lateral) for a Bakken
  • total depth for a Spearfish can be reached in less than a week
  • current Spearfish wells in North Dakota appear to be short laterals for the most part
  • Spearfish oil is somewhat heavier than Bakken oil; and contains sulfur (not good but US refineries are configured for such, and seek sour oil, such as the Spearfish oil)
  • contentious among operators/shippers to mix Spearfish oil with Bakken oil
  • in 2010, NDIC started talking about the Spearfish in the context of the Bakken boom; the North Dakota Spearfish seems to be hitting its stride as of mid-2013
At $50/bbl, a $3,000,000 well would require 60,000 bbls at the well-head to break even. Sort of.

So, some examples of some recent North Dakota Spearfish wells:
  • 23075, 80, Corinthian Exploration,  Corinthian McCullough 13-36 1H, North Souris, 160-acres; TD, 5.8;  t10/12; cum 19K 6/13;
  • 23073, 140, Corinthian Exploration,  Corinthian McCullough 5-1 1H, North Souris,  ICO; TD, 5.8; t2/13; cum 15K 6/13
  • 22964, 139, Corinthian Exploration,  Corinthian Freight 5-36 1H, North Souris,  ICO; TD, 5.8; t10/12; cum 18K 6/13
  • 21951, 157, Legacy Oil,  Legacy Etal Berge 12-31H, North Souris,  320-acres; TD, 7.3; t12/12; cum 16K 6/13
  • 21921, 97, Legacy Oil, Legacy Etal Berge 5-7H, Red Rock,  320-acres; TD, 7.2; t12/12; cum 15K 6/13
  • 21820, 83, Legacy Oil, Legacy Etal Berge 13-6H, North Souris,  320-acres; TD, 7.2; t3/13; cum 4K 6/13
  • 21549, 88, Legacy Oil, Legacy Etal Berge 1-1H, North Souris,  320-acres; TD, 7.2; 25 stages; 200K lbs; spud date: December 2, 2011; TD, December 9, 2011; t4/12; cum 18K 6/13
  • 21504, 126, Legacy Oil, Legacy Etal Berge 5-31H, North Souris,  320-acres; TD, 7.0; t4/12; cum 23K 6/13
  • 21389, 104, Legacy Oil, Legacy Etal Berge 1-12H, Red Rock,  320-acres; TD, 6.6; t12/11; cum 14K 6/13
  • 19612, 95, Legacy Oil, Legacy Etal Berge 9-1H, North Souris,  320-acres; TD, 7.0; t6/11; cum 23K 6/13
An example of what the drilling patter of the Spearfish/North Souris - Red Rock looks like:

It should be noted that Barney and Fred lived in Bedrock and not Red Rock. It should also be noted that The Flintstones was the first American animated show to depict two people of the opposite sex (Fred and Wilma; Barney and Betty) sleeping together in one bed, although Fred and Wilma are sometimes depicted as sleeping in separate beds (source: wiki).


  1. Mr. Oksol,

    Can you tell me what the numbers above in red mean? example 23073, 140


    1. That is the first 24-hour production as reported by the operator after the well has been completed (fracked). Long-term observers don't put a lot of "faith" into what this number means. However, those same long-term observers have gotten a "feeling" for the typical IP for various operators.

      For a full explanation of the shorthand I use, see this post, and then scroll to the very bottom:

  2. Thank you for replying to my question. My family has interest in the area where Corinthian is currently working and I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Do you foresee the action in this area continuing at its current pace?

    Once again, thank you for your help.


    1. Based on the monthly hearing dockets (NDIC) and the daily permits that are being announced, I think the activity will remain about the same: slow and steady.