Out of curiosity, I decided to go back to 2006 when the Bakken was still not "a thing" in North Dakota. The Bakken "began" in eastern Montana along the North Dakota border in 2000 but it was not until mid-2007 when the EOG Parshall well set off the Bakken boom in North Dakota.
So, I was curious what calendar year 2006 looked like in North Dakota. See this post. I have only updated the first thirty of forty wells.
Early in the 16XXX series, or early in 2006, operators were drilling wells in the Madison and the Birdbear. Most of the Birdbear wells turned out to be dry holes or such poor wells they were abandoned within a month or so of drilling. There were very few Madison wells drilled.
Then, starting in mid-2006, operators started drilling Bakken wells. By today's standards they were poor wells but they have served their purpose (which I have talked about at length in the past; I won't go over that now; maybe later).
But this is what is striking. Generally speaking, operators do not abandon Bakken wells. Even really lousy Bakken wells are left alone to continue producing, albeit small amounts. If nothing else, these early Bakken wells are holding leases by production.
But many, many early Bakken wells that were very, very poor wells are now showing some life, showing some interesting production.
For example, let's look at #16068, completed in May, 2006. We didn't really start seeing Bakken wells until about #16030, so #16068 is a very, very early Bakken well. The Bakken boom in North Dakota had not yet begun.
16068, 104, Whiting, Bartleson 44-1H, Sanish, t5/06; cum 302K 11/18, full production profile is at this post.
But look at these changes in production:
First year. By today's standards, an incredibly lousy well in an incredibly good field:
It plateaued out at around 1,500 bbls/month, which in the big scheme of things, is pretty respectable, but then look what happened in mid-2014, after the well was eight years old. Pretty incredible, huh -- what was that about Hubbert's theory?
And it was not re-fracked.
Again, the production declined, and plateaued out at around 1,000 bbls/month, but then look what happened early last year. Not particularly remarkable in the big scheme of things, except whatever happened, it extended the life of the well and we will see this over and over and over for the next 30+ years. This well will eventually be re-fracked (probably more than once).
An incredibly mediocre well by today's standards, that was fracked well before modern completion strategies were implemented, and yet in less than twelve years has produced as much oil as the average Madison well produced over a 30-year lifetime.