Friday, May 25, 2012

Some Data Points From CLR, WLL, MRO -- Last Day of Bismarck Conference -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

Some random data points from three Bakken oil execs on the last day of the May 22 - 24, 2012, Bismarck Bakken Conference. Link to Bismarck Tribune. Some numbers rounded.
  • conference broke its own record the last day of the conference: 4,300
  • population of North Dakota: 1 million by 2020 - 2030 (date found at different story); current population: 684,000
  • oil production: 1 million bopd by 2015; currently 575,000 bopd
  • CLR estimates: 27 to 45 billion bbls of recoverable oil from the Bakken; (back of envelope: 5% recovery of 500 billion bbls OOIP --> 25 billion bbls of recovered oil; so either higher rates of recovery or greater OOIP -- assuming I did the math right; perhaps both: higher rates of recovery and greater OOIP)
  • new estimates based on production from two previously untapped "bench zones" in the Bakken
  • WLL: expects 500 wells in its Pronghorn Prospect between Dickinson and Belfield; 30 wells now
  • WLL: 7 - 10 rigs in the Pronghorn Prospect for the next couple of years
  • (back of envelope: 500/3 --> 165 wells/year/10 rigs --> each rig about 16 wells/year; 365/16 --> 22 days to move in, reach total depth, and move out)
  • (or, again, back of envelope: 500/4 --> 125 wells/year/10 rigs --> 12 wells/years; one well/month/rig)
  • WLL: best financial returns in its history
  • WLL: Sanish $7 million wells reach payout in less than a year
  • WLL: wells elsewhere are taking a bit longer to reach payout
  • WLL: Pronghorn Prospect is expected to be every bit as good as the Sanish
  • CLR: expects to see 250 active rigs in ND; currently 200 - 210 (record: 215)
Some interesting quotes:
To find what he calls “Bakken sweet spots,” [WLL/CEO] Volker said, his company relies increasingly on microscopic analysis of core samples to evaluate how porous, saturated and permeable formations are.

North Dakota is a learning laboratory for oil development here and in other states. “North Dakota is helping lead the way,” [MRO executive] Roberts said.


  1. And one chopper.

    anon 1

    1. Looks plausible.

      On the other hand, a natural gas fueled Segway is probably a bridge too far, even for Boone Pickens.

    2. I am just astounded on the info that keeps coming out about the Pronghorn!

      As the technology keeps developing for oil drilling/fracking, the OOIP estimates will go up. Don't you think?

      And wouldn't that affect these estimated number of wells, not just in Pronghorn, but most of the Bakken? As time goes by, I think both will go up. As the process evolves, so will the numbers. Jeremy

    3. Yes. I think the reason the USGS / NDGS don't want to do another survey right now is because things are developing too quickly. They need to see results from many wells from many formations to get a good estimate. And remember, the Pronghorn Sand is part of the Bakken Pool which means the surveyors need a lot of Pronghorn wells to be able to assess the Bakken Pool. And to be honest, I don't think the USGS surveys mean that much to the average person-on-the street; Bakken has its street cred. What better estimates do is provide "official" numbers for analysts who calculate the worth of a company.

    4. Oh, and one last thing, would you mind please, copying the pronghorn estimates over to your "Pronghorn-Bakken" page? Thanks for all your updates. Jeremy