Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Random Post On Increased Density Well Drilling Inspired By A Reader's Comment -- August 6, 2014

Note: in long posts like this, I seldom double check them for typographical or grammatical errors for several days. I assume there are factual errors as well. Don't use this as a source of information for anything that might be important in your life. 

I get the feeling that the definition of "density drilling" in the Bakken will be in the eye of the beholder.

An analogy: CLR trademarked "Eco-Pad" for its four-well pad sites. I haven't heard the term "Eco-Pad" used in a long time (so the trademark must have worked) but everyone (except OXY, it seems) has gone to pad drilling in the Bakken.

So it is with density drilling. This is being posted without much research or thought put into it, but a long time ago, in a place far away, the consensus was this: surface owners would see only one oil well per section (one mile by one mile, 640 acres).

Then BEXP came along with the Olson wells and Harold Hamm came along with the Bice wells and all of a sudden, we had two long horizontals going north, and two long horizontals going south, all from the same four well-pad.

It was obvious at that point that fracking was not particularly effective more than 500 feet radially from the borehole. To the best of my knowledge, this blog was the first blog that had no advertising and no subscription, and written by a layperson, that talked about this. I opined that we would see up to six wells across a one-mile section (one formation).

Shortly after the cat was let out of the bag, or as they say in Norway, after the lutefisk started to smell, CLR announced two density projects, the specifics of which I have long forgotten.

I think by the strict definition of "increased density" wells, the oil companies mean very, very close spacing of wells in the same formation, as little as 660 feet apart. [There must be something magical about 660 feet. I assume it has to do with spacing from the section lines. By the way, with regard to the XXX-XX-XXX format for social security numbers, the string "666" is never used for the first three numbers. I read that yesterday in a Social Security Bulletin issued in 2009. But I digress.]

Some readers might think that 12 or 14 wells in one section constitute "increased density" wells. Not necessarily. If three wells target four separate formations (MB, TF1, TF2, TF3), twelve wells altogether, that would technically not be a "increased density pilot project." I suppose. But then again, whatever it's called, it's probably in the eye of the beholder. [Speaking of which, if the eye belongs to Algore, it's probably an eyesore; if the eye belongs to a mineral rights owner, its $$$$$$; and, if the eye belongs to the surface owner, it's a right-brain (emotion) vs left-brain (rationality) cognitive dissonance problem. But again I digress.

This brings me to the Atlanta wells in Baker oil field. I track the Atlanta wells here. When I get the time I have to update the Atlanta wells to post which wells target which formations. If the wells target only two formations (the MB and TF1, which we used to call the "upper Three Forks") then it should be considered an increased density project, although perhaps not a "pilot." Perhaps a "co-pilot."

Some time ago, I posted a list of what CLR called their density projects; they did not include the Atlanta wells for some reason. At that link, these are the CLR density projects as of that date of the original post: Hawkinson, Tangsrud, Rollefstad, Wahpeton, Hartman, Mack, Lawrence. I did not link the source for calling these "CLR's density projects" so .... whatever.

The other bad news: I use multiple tags to identify posts with information about increased density wells. I will have to work on that; maybe this weekend.

For now, here are some links to posts for additional background on density projects.

Perhaps one of the better ones, posted on December 29, 2013, subtle change in CLR's proposed horizontal placement in the better Bakken? That link takes you to a post with graphics (320- and 160-acre density); and, a proposed well pattern that was either the same (or had very, very slight changes). [Wow, that last link, actually both those links, were to some great posts.]

Although I don't think Oasis referred to them as "pilot projects," here is a link to a post about Oasis and 10-well density in Burke County.

As far as KOG goes, here's a nice post of their increased density projects.

In addition, there are cases pending before the NDIC that are beyond the pale. For example:
Update on the section in Mandaree oil field in which EOG could place "not more than 32 wells in one 640-acre unit." No new wells, but the IPs and cumulative production for wells sited in this section have been updated.
Someday, one of my granddaughters will write the book on increased density projects in the Bakken. It will be titled: On The Evolution of Increased Density Well Drilling In The Bakken, Volume 6. The illustrations will be done by the other granddaughter.

By the way, as you get to older and older links, you may run into a "broken" link in which the "blogger app" says the site is not available. That has to do with the fact that my blog was hacked awhile back. I had to change the URL. Nothing else changed. So if you get a broken link to a milliondollarway blog, don't panic. Simply replace "" or whatever it was, with "" and it should work fine. The "the" is all-important, but so is the rest of it. I've fixed a lot of the links, but I'm really only back to 2012. And this blog goes all the way back to 2010, I think. [I deleted the original blog which went back to 2007 because it did not contract specifications.]

As long as I'm talking about broken links, a lot of linked stories in regional newspapers are archived after a few months, and require a paid subscription to reach them. Same with RBN Energy, I believe. All the links to the "Bakken Discussion Group" are broken. It's a sad story; a lot of incredibly good historical information is lost to the general public. Links to "The Bakken Discussion Group" should be intact. 

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