Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Chesapeake's Experience in North Dakota To Date: Largest Failure in Recent oil History In North Dakota

Link to KXNews -- provided by Don.

From the article: "It's the largest failure in recent oil history in North Dakota."
While production [in the Bakken] continues to ramp up daily, there is one part of western North Dakota where the excitement of oil has gone bust.
Chesapeake's attempt to find the southern edge of the Bakken, is being described as the largest failure in drilling in the state since the 1980's.
Data points:
  • Chesapeake secured leases in a large part of the state, south of I-94
  • drilled 8 wells, only 3 produced any oil -- but minimal amounts
  • all holes are shut in
  • Chesapeake's investment in this area: $60 millions; excludes money spent on leases


  1. I predicted that CHK would be the story of the year.

    Anon 1

    1. Unfortunate.

      CHK was not alone in their surprise. According to the linked article, Lynn Helms (Director, NDIC) sounded surprised, and maybe even the most well-known geologist in North Dakota, Kathy Neset, sounded a bit surprised. Maybe I'm overreading their quotes, but certainly Helms seemed surprised.

      On another note, someone had to drill those wells to determine the southern boundary of the Bakken.

  2. I don't think they did their homework. Should have looked deeper to see what they may have missed.

  3. Three forks, red river, winnepeg, may be prospective. Two deals that bring back memories. The anshultz deal with Oxy. And the denbury deal with encore. Both deals had areas that were productive and areas that basically were on the margins. Denbury's presentations moved fairly quickly from 300,000 acres to 200,000 acres. When they found their average to the north west of parshall was useless.

    These deals make sense today. CHK's play make little sense, I think they pulled the trigger without knowing what they were doing. Overall the seem overextended everywhere.

  4. Prematurely posted that last comment...

    I am fairly ignorant. Has anyone attempted (or is anyone attempting) the Tyler formation with success in South Western North Dakota?

    1. Some.

      I follow the Tyler at the sidebar (Heath/Tyler):


  5. Going back to what Lynn Helms said, and being a layman, I am confused. Many maps(NDIC site/etc)seem to indicate that the "mature" area of Bakken, does not include the CHK drilling sites...to me it doesn't seem like it should be a surprise. The CHK well at 9-137-99....was it even drilled into the Bakken or was it a Madison well? Based on the presentations, the "mature" Bakken is only in the western third of Stark county, and cutoff about 2/3rd of the way going south. I know that no map is perfect,and that there can be oil outside of the "mature" window, but his comment made me wonder if there no Lower Bakken shale, or is it that it is not mature in the CHK drilling areas? The way I understand it, you need both Bakken shale AND maturity to have a oil for both the Bakken and Threeforks(I think the source rock for both is Bakken shale). If that is true, doesn't that mean that Whiting's Pronghorn Sand would also be viable only in the mature area?...not in all areas that it is present. The Tyler seems to have mature source rock in western Stark, but for now they seem focused on the Bakken. Does any of this make sense?

    1. You are correct, as far as I understand things (and yes, the Upper Bakken is the source rock for both the Bakken formations and the Three Forks formations).

      The maps are only as good as the data from which the maps were derived.