Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Richard Zeits Over At SeekingAlpha

Another must-read over at SeekingAlpha. It begins:
I have said many times, there's only one Bakken. It is the most important oil discovery in the past 50 years. It's massive, one of the largest pure oil resource plays in the world, and we have de-risked 3,800 square miles for multiple benches. It's onshore American, it's 85% oil, and it has one of the most consistent, high quality crudes anywhere in the world. And it's just getting started. Bakken will soon surpass 1 million Boe per day of production, and I expect that to double again within ten years.
- Harold G. Hamm, Chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, the company's Q3 2013 Earnings Call
It is truly remarkable how quickly the concept of high-density development in the Bakken - on tight spacing, in multiple stacked horizons, and using new-generation super-intensive fracs - has gone from a futuristic theory to actual reality.
This "didn't just happen." One has to give a lot of credit to the regulators and the oil industry working closely with each other to make it happen.

For newbies, I've often said that the Bakken (for me) represents three things: a) the geographical oil patch; b) a laboratory for unconventional exploration and production; and, c) a philosophical reference to entrepreneurship, or something like that. I forget the exact words I've used in the past, but one gets the idea.

Some more from the article:
It has been just one year since Continental Resources made public its discovery of the lower benches in the Three Forks interval and suggested that the Bakken System may be producible from as many as five independent reservoirs stacked on top of each other.
It has been just one year since Continental Resources launched its daring downspacing pilot with horizontal wellbores spaced at previously unthinkable density for the Bakken: eight per 1,280-acre unit, in each of several horizons.
It has been just one year since a new generation of stimulation techniques found its way from the Eagle Ford into the Bakken and inspired a renaissance (using EOG's term) in radical experimentation in the area of stimulation design.
With close to two hundred rigs continuously running in the play, a lot of progress can be accomplished in a short period of time.
Last week, Continental announced that, based on positive initial results from its pilots, the company is accelerating its transition towards full development and is launching what is going to be the first in the Bakken full-development project.
Much, more at the linked article. As I said, a "must-read."

I think the jury is still out on 14-well pads and 32-well pads. I would like to see some corroborating evidence from Oasis or, even better, EOG.


  1. I suspect the next down spacing will be from 160 to 80 and maybe an occasional 60 just like the eagle ford. Maybe between drilling sand and technology and EOR we could look at a long term grab of 20% of oil. In simple math at at a trillion barrel reservoir. That is 200 Billion barrels. This is where it will most likely go. P.S. Doesn't include Tyler, and other reservoirs. It all comes down to economics downspacing becomes more likely as price and effectiveness increases.

    In a lab somewhere maybe someone is creating the perfect proppant. That would make another interesting game changer, if they can make it cheap enough.

    As usual, always enjoy your blog.


    1. I am a bit "confused" when it comes to down spacing. Early on folks talked about waterflooding, CO2 injection, etc, which (I thought) begins when there are enough wells in a given area to make it work. I would have thought at 160 in the Bakken they might be getting close (EOG says they have an enhanced oil recovery [EOR] pilot program). So, all I can do is watch. I don't know enough about the industry or the geology or the physics to guess how far downspacing will go. All I know is that it is fascinating to watch.

  2. I think another thing many are forgetting in the rush of things, but were discussed many times before on this blog is "tertiary recovery."

    1. Thank you. Even I can't remember all the stuff that has been posted at this blog. Some days I feel I just have a "general" idea of what is going on in the Bakken and can't remember the specifics, things are moving so quickly. Thank you for taking time to write.