Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wells Coming Off Confidential List Over The Weekend, Monday; WPX, Oasis Reporting Big Wells

Monday, December 23, 2013:
  • 25065, drl, XTO, Loomer 21X-4A, Tobacco Garden, no production data,
  • 25069, drl, Hess, EN-Hermanson A 155-93-3601H-3, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 25138, 223, OXY USA, John Williams 1-5-8H-143-97, Crooked Creek, t6/13; cum 32K 10/13;
  • 25263, 215, CLR, Farver 4-29H1, Hamlet, t11/13; cum 1K 10/13;
  • 25457, 1,320, Newfield, Barracuda 150-100-11-2-4H, Sandrocks, t9/13; cum 13K 10/13;
Sunday, December 22, 2013:
  • 22025, 127, Petro-Hunt, Lee 158-94-22A-27-2H, East Tioga, t9/13; cum 12K 10/13;
  • 23308, 2,005, WPX, Blackhawk 1-12HD, Moccasin Creek, t8/13; cum 70K 10/13;
  • 24273, 1,486, Whiting, Kummer 14-31H, Pleasant Hill, producing, t6/13; cum 41K 10/13;
  • 24274, 1,405, Whiting, Kummer 14-31-2H, Pleasant Hill, producing, t6/13; cum 39K 10/13;
  • 24986, drl, Statoil, Domaskin 30-31 5TFH, Alger, no production data,
  • 25439, 2,083, BR, CCU Bison Point 44-34TFH, Corral Creek, t11/13; cum --
  • 25456, dry, Newfield, Barracuda 150-100-11-2-4H, Sandrocks, --
  • 25628, 912, WPX, State of ND 10-3HA, Van Hook, t10/13; cum 15K 10/13;
  • 25655, drl, BR, Washburn 43-36TFH, Charlson, no production data,
Saturday, December 21, 2013:
  • 23178, drl, ERF, Prairie Dog 150-94-04A-09H, Spotted Horn, no production data, 
  • 24594, 570, CLR, Rosenvold 5-30H-2, Hamlet, t10/13; cum 5K 10/13;
  • 25053, 1,836, Oasis, Dunlap 5693 44-12B, Alger, t9/13; cum 27K 10/13;
  • 25068, drl, Hess, EN-Hermanson A 155-93-3601H-2, Robinson Lake, no production data,

23308, see above, WPX, Blackhawk 1-12HD, Moccasin Creek:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25053, see above, Oasis, Dunlap 5693 44-12B, Alger:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Sven Has A Great Post Today

It includes a great map of the United States showing where the wealth is. Be sure to clink on the link at the site to see the other maps. Very, very compelling.

Sven's blog is one of the few that I continue to link at the sidebar at the right.

Be sure to scroll down at the site to see some of the wonderful photographs Sven has included.

New Four-Lane Bridge To Cross The Missouri Southwest Of Williston; Maybe The Biggest Announcement In The Bakken This Year


January 20, 2014 The Bismarck Tribune is reporting that DOT will construct an under-the-highway passageway for wildlife on the south side of the new Lewis and Clark bridge south of Williston across the Missouri River. I'm not exactly sure where this "wildlife passage" will be but the article suggests it will be between Watford City and Alexander, but it's a bit confusing.
Part of the $300 million the North Dakota Department of Transportation has committed to upgrade U.S. Highway 85 between Williston and Watford City will include a first-of-its-kind wildlife underpass, or crossing. At least it’s the first of its kind in North Dakota.
Work on a portion of the project between Watford City and Alexander is already underway, but the bridge part of the job won’t be bid until sometime this spring.
That last sentence is confusing to me. They have to be talking about the "new" bridge but that's well north of Alexander; it's just five or six miles southwest of Williston. But they are definitely talking about the bridge southwest of Williston:
The new bridge will be a four-lane structure 1,519 feet long and 84.5 feet wide, he said.
The existing bridge, which opened in 1973, is situated in a historically, culturally and environmentally sensitive area.
I assume the new bridge would be in the same place as the existing bridge. Maybe not. I remain a bit confused. Sometimes reporters work too hard at being "interesting" and the story becomes muddled.

This article says the existing Lewis and Clark Bridge will be demolished by 2016

This is a photo and specifications of the existing bridge.
  • note the length: 1,530 feet.
  • note the width: 36 feet. 
Putting this all together this is what I think is what is being described:
there is an approved $300 million project for a four-land highway from Watford City via Alexander to Williston (the same US Highway which has been widened in places already).
Part of that route includes a new Lewis and Clark Bridge across the Missouri River six miles southwest of Williston. The bridge has been "approved" but the cost has not been determined; the environmental impact statements are still being prepared; and various state and federal agencies have not yet provided their input and/or approval.
There's been a lot of talk about how to demolish the existing bridge; explosives will not be used. The bridge will be dismantled piece-by-piece, and a net put in place, to keep pieces from falling into the river and disrupting river life.
It sounds as if the new bridge will be alongside (west or east) of the existing bridge since other stories talk about the existing bridge being demolished by 2016. Due the recently expanded water treatment plant on the northeast side of the river, I assume the north-side access of the bridge will have to be to the west, coming very close to the existing CLR Atlanta 14-well pad.
The $300 million project will also include an under-the-highway-wildlife passage located at some unspecified location between Watford City and Williston.
On a related note, it appears folks are getting so excited (think tingles up their spines) about this wildlife passageway they are already talking about similar passageways all along US Highway from Williston to Dickinson.

This news will make this woman happy:

Deer Crossing Signs Proliferate

Original Post

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
The North Dakota Department of Transportation said the Lewis and Clark Bridge that spans the Missouri River in Williston will be demolished.
The two-lane bridge will be razed in 2016.
The bridge will be replaced with a four-lane bridge as part of the widening of U.S. Highway 85 to accommodate escalating traffic in western North Dakota's oil patch.
Regular readers know that I have talked about this bridge a dozen times; it is the choke point southwest of Williston, literally in the center of the Bakken. It straddles the river dividing the two counties that are the two major counties in the current Bakken boom: McKenzie County and Williams County. 

I'm trying to figure out why the reporter made a special note to remind readers that "no explosives" will be used to bring the bridge down. It's almost bizarre what folks seem to be worried about these days.

Motley Fool Article On The SCOOP

Regular readers already know about this one. Motley Fool has a short article on the SCOOP.
According to Continental, SCOOP is a "world-class resource." The field straddles the Woodford Shale and the Anadarko Basin and covers an area about 3,300 square miles in size. And at its thickest, the pay-zone is 400 feet deep, twice as thick as the Bakken.  
Continental believes the 330,000 net acres it operates in the area will produce 1.8 billion barrels. To put that into perspective, that's equal to more than half of the oil recovered in 100 years of conventional drilling in Oklahoma. And the company estimates that those wells will generate returns on investment of between 40% and 55% based on $3.50 gas and $90 oil.
In total, the company estimates SCOOP could hold 70 billion barrels of oil in place. Considering the upside in this play, other operators are rushing in to get a piece of the action.

Random Look At A Bakken Well Along The Canadian Border: The Zimmerman Well

Earlier I posted a note about an interesting re-entry well. A reader suggested I take a look at another well that has undergone some recent work.

Unfortunately the well file report does not shed any light on what is going on with this well.  It is interesting that on June 19, 2009, this spacing unit, Bakken pool only, qualified as "Stripper Well Property." The well produced from a depth greater than 10,000 feet and at a maximum efficient rate, with average daily production from the property 28.3 bopd. (I wondered about this issue back in 2007 when I first started blogging, but intentionally avoided the subject.)

This is an unusual well. It is a vertical well with two horizontal legs, one to the northeast, and one to the southeast. It is located up along the Canadian border.

I do not see any frack report. However, the initial production suggested at least one leg was fracked and the amount of water returned early on suggests at least one leg was fracked.

This is the well. The two arrows point to the two legs of this well:
  • 16207, 28, CLR, Zimmerman 1-13H, Border, t11/06; cum 58K 10/13;
This is the area under discussion. The red arrows point to the two horizontal wells.

It was a very, very unremarkable well. Until recently.

Note: the name of the well has not changed; it does not include the "R" suffix suggesting this is not a re-entry. Was it recently fracked for the first time? I don't know. Hopefully some reader might have some additional background.

The well has produced a cumulative of almost 60,000 bbls since it was drilled back in 2006 (remember, this was before the Parshall discovery in 2007 that marks the beginning of the current Bakken boom).  Note the production over the past few months:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The well was spud in August, 2006, with first production in November, 2006. This is the production history early on:


My hunch: either one leg was fracked for the first time, or one or both legs were re-fracked. The big question is the one I avoided back in 2007 and that has to do with "stripper well status."

Less Than 24 Hours For Some; Less Than A Week For Others

The dates have been so confused, extended, exempted, and expletived, I no longer know if the DrudgeReport headline is accurate, the one that says there are only 24 more hours to enroll in ObamaCare if one wants health insurance coverage by January 1, 2014. But be that as it may, there is probably some deadline. [This is so incredible, so funny. I can't make this stuff up. It turns out there "was" a deadline of December 23, 2013, but then the Obama administration had the IT folks change the software to extend the deadline to December 24, 2013. The change was made secretly with no one knowing. This is all quite incredible. I guess the administration only follows those laws, and the parts of those laws with which it agrees.]

A more "sure" deadline is the deadline for charity giving in 2013 if one uses charity for tax purposes (I don't). That date is December 31, 2013.

So, this is a reminder: regardless of taxes, it's always a good time to be charitable. High on my list is the Salvation Army which I talked about almost exactly one year ago. I wrote this then, and it still holds:
My granddaughters mean the world to me. I can't imagine them being in a place where they needed help from the Salvation Army. But if they needed such help, I can't think of a better organization to provide it.
Good luck to all. Have a great holiday, and hopefully you will have a great 2014.

A Note To The Granddaughters

At one time I went through my "Sylvia Plath" phase, during the early days of my frenetic and eclectic reading program, a program that began in 2002 and continues to this day, albeit less frenetic but just as eclectic, I suppose.

My wife pointed out an article in the weekend edition of The Los Angeles Times. Apparently, the Sylvia Plath heirs or estate has published a small (64 pages) book of her pen-and-ink drawings. It looks like the book includes an introduction by her daughter Frieda Hughes and some poems by Ted Hughes.

Sylvia died, I think accidentally, on February 11, 1963.

[On a completely different note, the article appeared in the December 20, 2013, issue of The Los Angeles Times; it appeared first on-line December 12, 2013, at I'm somewhat disappointed (?) that the Times recycles their work. It's possible that they have so much on-line, they pick the best for the print edition. I hope that's the reason.]

Bear Den Oil Field In The Bakken

Fifteen sections in southest McKenzie County west of the Helis Grail.

33343, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36B,
33342, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36F,
33341, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36E,
33330, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36HXE,
33329, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36D,
33328, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36H,
33327, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36C,

2016 (list is complete)
33055, loc, XTO, Dakota Federal 42X-36A,

2015 (list is complete)
32059, loc, Newfield,
32058, loc, Newfield,
30913, loc, XTO, Johnsrud

2014 (the list is complete)
29862, conf, XTO, Johnsrud Federal 34X-14AXB,
29861, conf, XTO, Johnsrud Federal 34X-14A,
29659, conf, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-29-32-1H,
29658, conf, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-29-32-13HWL,
29451, conf, QEP, Moberg 20-21-29-28LL,
29450, conf, QEP, Moberg 20-17-19-18LL,
29392, conf, XTO, Johnsrud Federal 34X-14D,
29391, conf, XTO, Johnsrud Federal 34X-14H,
29390, conf, XTO, Johnsrud Federal 34X-14C,
29389, conf, XTO, Johnsrud Federal 34X-14G,
27901, drl, XTO, Van Dyke 44X-19B,
27900, conf, XTO, Van Dyke 44X-19E,
27899, conf, XTO, Van Dyke 44X-19A,
27554, 2,787, XTO, Walton Federal 41X-19D, Bear Den, t9/14; cum 82K 1/15;
27553, 3,645, XTO, Walton Federal 41X-19H, Bear Den, t9/14; cum 94K 12/14;
27552, 2,422, XTO, Walton Federal 41X-19G, Bear Den, t9/14; cum 85K 12/14;
27403, 1,485, XTO, William Federal 41X-6H, Bear Den, t8/14; cum 54K 12/14;
27402, 1,319, XTO, William Federal 41X-6C, Bear Den, t8/14; cum 44K 12/14;

2013 (list complete)
26027, 434, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-29-32-11H, Three Forks, 32 stages; 1.6 million lbs; , t12/13; cum 17K 12/14;
26026, 2,049, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-32-12H, t11/13; cum 98K 12/14;
26025, 1,609, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-29-32-4H, t11/13; cum 139K 12/14;
25262, 2,682, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20B, t3/14; cum 108K 12/14;
25261, 2,274, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20F, t3/14; cum 77K 12/14;
25260, 2,432, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20A, t3/14; cum 77K 12/14;
25259, 3,112, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20E, t3/14; cum 73K 12/14;

24191, 946, SM Energy, Jorgenson Federal 14X-19H, t7/13; cum 188K 1/15;
24190, 1,029, SM Energy, Jorgenson Federal 14-19H, t7/13; cum 213K 1/15;
22198,  857, Newfield, Moberg Federal 149-95-29-32-3H, t5/12; cum 345K 1/15;

For investors: when you look at the video think about the cost of putting in this road for a single well, or very few wells, and then pro-rate that cost over a hundred more wells that will eventually come in. This is called "seed corn."

Driving into the bear's lair, Bear Den, Summer, 2013


December 22, 2013: a re-entry well in Bear Den.

Idle Chatter Regarding OXY USA

With the ongoing discussion of OXY USA, this might be a good time to look back at two articles. I don't remember if I posted the first article, and I know I didn't understand the ramifications of the second article.

First, this article from SeekingAlpha, October 16, 2013:
Occidental thrives on its expertise in extracting oil out of declining oil fields by using carbon dioxide injection. In fact, carbon dioxide EOR is its most profitable business, and approximately 60% of its oil production in the Permian basin is from implementing these projects. Occidental is an industry leader in applying this technology, and it is one of the largest injectors of carbon dioxide for EOR in the U.S. Additionally, the company is a leading player in the Permian basin, where it is the largest operator with a net acreage of 2.5 million. The entire Permian basin accounts for 15% of the total U.S. oil production, and Occidental contributes 16% of the overall Permian oil production.
The Permian basin produced close to 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE, per day in the first six months of this year. Occidental produced more than 20 million BOE in this period, riding on its EOR technique. Permian is expected to reach 1.4 million BOE per day by the end of 2013 and 2 million BOE per day in the next five years. It is expected that the average domestic oil production for Occidental in the second half of 2013 will be 6000 to 8000 BOE per day, which is about 3% more than the production in the first half. The Permian basin will be a significant contributor to this growth. This indicates the growth potential that exists for Occidental going forward.
If you are interested in carbon dioxide EOR, look at Denbury.

Then, this post. Again, I don't know if this has any relevance to the discussion but whenever the Obama administration says "something, anything" is not a hazardous waste, one has to pay attention:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday issued a final rule that exempts CO2 injected underground from hazardous waste regulations, a step the agency said would help ensure “safe and effective deployment” of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies. 
And for those curious about OXY's plans for the Bakken as articulated in their 3Q13 earnings conference call, the transcript is very, very enlightening. If you go to the link, open it (all 11 pages) as a single page, and then search "Bakken." Yes, it is mentioned only in the Q&A. You can see how incredibly excited OXY is about the biggest shale play in the US. LOL.

An Easter egg can be found at the OXY page on the blog.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or what you think you may have read here. 

Random Update Of A Re-Entry Well; A Red River Well Re-Entered In 2001; A Bakken Well Now

The Bakken surprises, at least for me, never end.

I'm going to do this quickly, and no doubt there will be errors. There are 374 pages in the well file report. I don't understand 90% of what I read, and I certainly don't have time to read all 374 pages, so this will be done quickly. Readers can tell me where I'm wrong and we will go from there.

First look at this case in the January, 2014, NDIC hearing dockets:
Case No. 21599: Application of SM Energy Co. for an order amending the applicable orders for the Bear Den-Bakken Pool to allow up to six wells to be drilled upon a 640-acre spacing unit described as Section 25, T.149N., R.96W., McKenzie County, ND, at any location not closer than 200 feet to any boundary of the spacing unit or granting such other relief as is appropriate.
I was curious why SM would go back and request six wells in a single section. 

There is currently one well sited in that section:
  • 11913, 1,476/17/0, SM Energy, Bear Den Federal 10-25HR, Red River (1986)/Bakken (2001)/Devonian (2006). [The IP for the Red River was 1,476; the IP for the original Bakken was 17 (see below).] Cumulative production: for the Red River, 173K; for the Bakken, to date: 50K. The Devonian was dry. The Red River is PNA.
There are three vertical PNA wells in that section, note the formations and the cumulative production:
  • 1971, 236, SM Energy, Bear Den 2, Bear Den, a Madison well, t9/58; cum 745K 12/05
  • 1469, 152, Flying J Oil & Gas, Bear Den Unit 1, Bear Den, a Madison well, t9/57; cum 334K  3/90;
  • 5513, 22, Adobe Resources, Federal 25 1, Bear Den, a Madison well, t8/75; cum 2K 2/76;
Finally, there is a Bakken horizontal sited in an adjoining section that drills into this section:
  • 16446, 97, SM Energy, Bear Den Federal 4-30H, a Madison well, t3/07; cum 87K 10/13;
The most recent Madison well, #16446, is a typical Madison well with NO decline rate to speak of. From the beginning it never produced more than 2,000 bo per month, generally in the 1,500 bbl/month range, and is currently producing about 1,200 bo per month, and flaring 100% of its natural gas. This well is located in the Bear Den oil field, but only two miles from the very well-known, much discussed Helis Grail oil field.

So, to summarize: various operators, including Flying J, have been drilling for oil in this section since 1957. That's almost 60 years ago. In 2001, well before the current Bakken boom in North Dakota, a company called St Mary Land and Exploration decided to re-enter an old Madison well, #11913. They brought in a work over rig (which I associate with low cost) and reached total depth in less than 12 days, back during a hot July in North Dakota. The well was then known as the Bear Den #4 well and had been "temporarily abandoned and [had] not continuously produced since June 1998. During the last six months [this was written 10/22/2001] of continuous production from the Red River, oil production averaged less than 1 bopd."[By the way, there's a story line there, also, for astute readers regarding a well that averaged less than 1 bopd.]

So, SM re-entered an old Madison well with a work over rig, brought in a productive Bakken well that has produced about 50,000 bbls of Bakken oil to date. All natural gas is being flared, though a sundry report stated that SM was putting a pump on this well in 2008 and would lay the pipeline necessary to gather the natural gas for processing, which may have been done, but it is not being delivered to a processing plant.

Also, the IP on the NDIC ticket suggests the 2001 Bakken IP was 17 when, in fact, the sundry report suggests it was 119 bopd, a calculated 24-hour flow rate. If I am reading the sundry report correctly, it was an open hole frack using about 331,000 lbs of proppant (almost inconsequential by today's standards).

Total vertical depth was 11,048 feet, and total depth was 14,572, so the horizontal was very, very short by today's standards.


This is the edited NDIC ticket for this well, edited for easier reading:

NDIC File No: 11913     API No: 33-053-02146-00-00     CTB No: 111913
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 9/11/2008     Wellbore type: Horizontal Re-Entry
Location: NWSE 25-149-96    
Current Operator: SM ENERGY COMPANY
Current Well Name: BEAR DEN FEDERAL 10-25HR
Total Depth: 14572     Field: BEAR DEN
Spud Date(s):  12/29/1985  7/19/2008
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 11360-14572     Comp: 12/29/2001     Status: AL     Date: 11/19/2008    
   Pool: DEVONIAN     Perfs: 11696-11704     Comp: 2/16/2006     Status: DRY     Date: 2/16/2006   
   Pool: RED RIVER     Perfs: 14188-14352G     Comp: 3/20/1986   Status: PNA   Date: 12/27/2001 
 Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: RED RIVER     Cum Oil: 172924     Cum MCF Gas: 1096323     Cum Water: 167722
   Pool: DEVONIAN     Cum Oil: 0     Cum MCF Gas: 0     Cum Water: 0
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 49545     Cum MCF Gas: 46275     Cum Water: 4412
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 3/20/1986     Pool: RED RIVER     IP Oil: 1476     IP MCF: 9010     IP Water: 14
   IP Test Date: 12/29/2001     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 17     IP MCF: 20     IP Water: 0


The area of interest (note the Helis Grail to the east):

A Note To The Granddaughters

I am reading Franz Kafka's Amerika which was translated and published posthumously by Kafka's close friend Max Brod. My soft cover copy is in such good condition, it suggests I have never read it. There is no price tag on it so I do not know when and where I picked it up. Certainly I would not have ordered it from Amazon, and it is unlikely to have come from one of my daughters' collections of books, although when she was growing up, we spoke often of Kafkaesque situations: "...below decks he found to his disappointment that a gangway which made a handy short cut had been barred for the first time in his experience, probably in connection with the disembarkation of so many passengers, and he had painfully to find his way down endlessly recurring stairs, corridors with countless turnings, through an empty room with a deserted writing-table, until in the end, since he had taken this route no more than once or twice and always among a crowd of other people, he lost himself completely. In his bewilderment ..."

That was from his very first page in Amerika and immediately reminded me of getting lost with our older daughter some thirty years ago in a street mall in Trier, Germany, with all its back passages, and stairs and escalators which seemed to offer no return walk ways.

There was no specific reason to start reading this book at this time. I occasionally see something by or about Kafka. My interest is occasionally piqued. I don't recall what it was this time, but something reminded me of Kafka, and looking for a small book to carry and read while waiting in Christmas lines I stumbled across this book.

I read Max Brod's preface to Amerika yesterday and started the first chapter. Today I finished that chapter. It has to do with the protagonist, Karl Rossmann's arrival in America. The first chapter, the first scene as it were, takes place in the ocean-going ship's cabin where Karl is trying to "defend" the stoker who feels he has been wronged. We learn in that chapter why Karl is coming to America. Surprisingly, Karl meets his uncle, now a "senator," in that same meeting.

The first chapter is about 35 pages long; it is a short story that stands on its own. That's how I would introduce high school students to Kafka. I would not require them to read the book. I would provide the background to Kafka, why he is important, his writing style, and what he wrote. I would assign only the first chapter to be read, knowing that some students would read the entire book, and others would read almost nothing. If I told them that pages 29 - 30 included an x-rated sex scene ["... offered her breast that he might listen to hers in turn, but could not bring him to do it, pressed her naked belly against his body, felt with her hand between his legs, so disgustingly that his head and neck started up from the pillows, then thrust her body several times against him -- it was as if she were a part of himself ..."] my hunch is everyone would be taking out their books and turning to those pages to see what they had missed. LOL, as my daughter would text.

It is entirely coincidental, and serendipitous, I suppose, that I happened to select Amerika to read, and it is remarkable that the first chapter was about Karl's arrival in America. I had just re-read the biography of my grandfather Paul Oksol who arrived in America in 1907 under very similar circumstances, coming across the ocean with his trunk (which Karl lost on his voyage, according to Kafka) in steerage accommodations. A simple google search, by the way, will "discover" that on-line biography.

The Bakken As A Trilogy; The EOG Experience

Regular readers know that when I mention the "Bakken," I am thinking of the Bakken in three different ways.
  • the oil patch in North Dakota
  • a laboratory for horizontal drilling and fracking in tight oil
  • an entrepreneurial spirit in which all concerned work together to solve problems
I am reminded of those three "Bakkens," the "trilogy," perhaps, when I think of EOG.

It was reported first over at SeekingAlpha (a couple of weeks ago) and then in Forbes (this past week) that EOG will soon be the biggest producer of oil in the continental United States. Over at the EOG page I posted:
December 21,2013: Forbes has almost the identical story that SeekingAlpha had on November 25, 2013, about EOG to be the largest producer in the lower 48 by 2018. 
  • Chevron: 475,000 bopd
  • XOM: 450,000 bopd
  • BP: 400,000 bopd
  • COP: 350,000 bopd
  • OXY: 300,000
  • EOG should hit 500,000 by 2018
That little snippet validates my thoughts about the "Bakken, the trilogy."

I don't know what EOG was doing back in 2000 when the Bakken pre-boom began in Montana's Elm Coulee, and I don't know how "big" EOG was just before the company started drilling the Parshall oil field back in 2007 in North Dakota.

But it appears the EOG history is something like this. The company was meandering along over the years following the Enron debacle. Then, that first Bakken well near Parshall, North Dakota. EOG quickly delineated what they had, and watched the development of the Bakken in North Dakota.

The company must have know then what Harold Hamm was telling anyone who would listen: the Bakken is bigger than you can imagine.

EOG recognized several things during their first year of drilling in the Bakken: a) it was WAY bigger than anyone was imagining; b) success would go to the operators who figured out best completion (fracking) techniques; c) the infrastructure to take away all that oil in North Dakota was grossly lacking.

After a gang-buster start in North Dakota, 2007 through 2010, EOG seemed to be relatively quiet in North Dakota, at least compared to the other operators. There wasn't a big urgency to drill like one's hair was on fire. The oil wasn't going anywhere. Literally and figuratively. If the oil wasn't drilled in 2011, it would still be there in 2014. And, there was not enough pipeline to take away all that oil anyway -- except at high prices to transport. So, no reason not to wait and watch.

While watching, one of the things they noted was that the pipeline infrastructure was never going to catch up. EOG was the first to have a CBR facility. I'm not going to check now, but I think they planned to have their first shipment in early 2010, and in fact beat the deadline by shipping the last day in 2009.

EOG also watched the completion techniques of the other operators, particularly those of BEXP. EOG is now doing the biggest sand fracks of any operators, using up to 10 times the amount of sand of some other operators.

While watching the North Dakota Bakken, EOG was doing two other things. It was quietly buying up sand mines in Minnesota and/or Wisconsin.

And, last but not least, EOG was looking for other tight oil plays. EOG bought early into the Eagle Ford. The Eagle Ford is likely the only tight oil play that will rival the Bakken among the "single formation plays." [The Permian is likely to out do them all, but it is such a multi-layered Oreo it defies comparison.]

It is interesting to watch the personal dynamics also. All of the above was done under the guiding hand of man I came to learn late in the game. I believe one of my readers first introduced me to "Mark Papa."

This past year the EOG baton passed to William R. Thomas, a youngish 60 years old. One can bet he wants to set his mark. EOG has said they will ramp up in the Bakken in 2014 now that they have more experience gained in the Eagle Ford.

And that brings us to the SeekingAlpha and the Forbes articles linked above.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or anything you think you might have read here.

Post script: it will be interesting to see how EOG does in the Bakken this year. EOG has some incredibly good acreage in the Parshall, but it also has a fair amount of acreage in areas that are not seen as quite as good as the Parshall. It will be interesting to see if EOG surprises us in some of those areas.

For newbies: EOG stated about six months that it was  reaching 100% "payout" on its Eagle Ford wells. In its more recent presentations and interviews, EOG states it is now reaching that same 100% payout in its Bakken wells. In fact, there are analysts who suggest that EOG is reaching 100% payout in six months with some of its Bakken wells.