Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bakken101: A Three-Section-Long Middle Bakken Well At The Edge Of The Basin -- August 2, 2014


November 6, 2015: something I had not thought about until a reader brought it to my attention -- by usual Bakken standards, these are relatively shallow wells; note that TD for this 3-section long well as 23,432 feet; a two-section long well in deeper parts of the Basin can be upwards of 21,000 feet TD. Shallow depths may be one of the reasons SM Energy is finding it economical to drill in Divide County.

December 2, 2014: this well has been updated --

  • 25959, 732, CLR, Haffner 1-31H, Noonan, middle Bakken; 1920-acre; 50 stages; 7 million lbs, a true 3-section lateral (full sections 19/30/31 - 162-95); TD = 23,432 feet; background gases "poor"; t3/14; cum 104K 9/15; 
Original Post

A reader suggested I take a look at this well. First, the reader's comments:
A Canadian O&G map indicates the Nesson Anticline extends north along the Noonan/Baukol Noonan boundary line up thru the Kimberly Field and a few miles into southern Saskatchewan.
This is up in the far northeast corner of Divide County, North Dakota, near the town of Noonan. This is at the northern edge of the North Dakota Bakken where, due to the "bowl shape" phenomenon of the Bakken in North Dakota, the vertical depth of wells are shallower than other Bakken wells in North Dakota.

This is the scout ticket (comments and observations follow the scout ticket)(updated from original post)

NDIC File No: 25959    
Well Type: OG     Well Status: A     Status Date: 2/16/2014     Wellbore type: Horizontal
Location: SWSE 31-162-95      Latitude: 48.808577     Longitude: -103.054688
Current Well Name: HAFFNER 1-31H 
Total Depth: 23432     Field: NOONAN
Spud Date(s):  8/23/2013
Completion Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Perfs: 8817-23432     Comp: 2/16/2014     Status: AL     Date: 4/17/2014     Spacing: ICO (requested: 1920 acre)
Cumulative Production Data
   Pool: BAKKEN     Cum Oil: 61569     Cum MCF Gas: 81393     Cum Water: 96225
Production Test Data
   IP Test Date: 3/30/2014     Pool: BAKKEN     IP Oil: 732     IP MCF: 710     IP Water: 1395
Monthly Production Data
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Some observations:
  • for a CLR well, this is a pretty good IP; maybe slightly above average; but considering it's location, at the edge of the northern North Dakota Bakken, this is a superb IP (when one sees a CLR IP of this caliber and then, especially where it's located, one needs to ask "why?")
  • for a CLR well, and then especially considering this well is a middle Bakken well at the edge of the northern North Dakota Bakken, the first few months of production is incredible, and again one must ask "what's going on?"
The rest of the story.

First, a clue.
I mentioned that the middle Bakken wells are shallower here than elsewhere in the Bakken. Look at the total depth of this well, almost 23,500 feet. If this is a "relatively shallow" well, then this is a long, long horizontal (compare with a very long EOG well in the Parshall field whose total depth is 24,300 feet. But that EOG well is a very, very "long" because it's vertical depth is likely to be much deeper (and later on, we will see that it is).
So, now we have a CLR well with a surprisingly good IP and even a better early-month production record, located in an area where we would not expect this. Then we have a CLR well that seems to have a "total depth" much greater than one would expect where the vertical depth should be less than average for a Bakken well.

Going to the file report, total vertical depth:
  • the vertical depth turns out to be very shallow; the "average" Bakken well tends to run 9,000 to 10,000 (averaging around 9,500 feet, I suppose); this CLR is only 8, 521 feet total vertical depth, about 1,000 feet less than expected for vertical depth
So, now we have a very, very long total depth, but the total vertical depth is less than we would expect.
"Holy guacamole, Batman," what's going on?
Perhaps there are many other examples in the Bakken, but if there are:
  • I've not seen any
  • I've not seen Filloon, Fitzsimmons, or Zeits talk about them
  • I've simply missed them
For newbies: there's a lot of talk about longer, and longer, horizontal laterals, but the fact is, the vast majority of middle Bakken wells have been two sections long, or about 9,000 to 11,000 feet long (horizontally). [Combined with the vertical depth, that gets us to 18,500 to 21,000 feet total depth.]

It turns out this well's total depth is an astounding 23,566 feet (according to the geologist's report; 23,432 feet according to the scout ticket).

Subtracting vertical depth from total depth, one finds the horizontal about 15,000 feet long (significantly longer than the expected 9,000 to 11,000 foot-long horizontal).

It turns out this well's horizontal leg was three sections (sections 19/30/31-T162N-R95W). Again, most Bakken wells are one or two sections (not three sections long).

But there's more.

What about fracking/completion?

For newbies; the standard in the Bakken right now is about 30 stages for a frack for a long (2-section lateral) though the number will vary significantly. Over the years "they've" talked about 40-, 50-, and 60-stage fracks but they are not often seen.

This one was a 50-stage frack, slide and perf, almost 7 million pounds sand frack (NOS), "via 4.5 inch horizontal liner with open hole packers utilizing 50 stages and plug & perf."

CLR is asking for 1920-acre (3-section) spacing; the case is pending.  

Again, maybe this is more common than I realize, but I am not aware of any other full 3-section laterals in the Bakken [see comment below that came in after this was posted]. I don't look at a lot of well files but enough, and again, I haven't seen others talk about these superlong laterals. (Note the tags, "extendedlonglaterals" and "superlonglaterals" where other long horizontals have been discussed.)

One last thing: according to CLR, the purpose of this well was "to drill a Middle Bakken horizontal well in the Norse Prospect. The well bore would be drilled northward, traversing three geographical sections. The well was to be used to assess production potential in the Noonan Field, where production is optimized when well bore placement occurs in a sandstone horizon."

Other data points:
  • 26 days from spud to total depth (pretty incredible, I would say)
  • contractor: Cyclone Drilling, Inc.; Rig 25
Comments on cost:
  • my hunch is that this well did not cost significantly more than other CLR wells
  • the amount of sand it more than normally used, but the reason is obvious; the amount of proppant is less than what EOG is using on some of its 2-section wells in the Parshall
  • it did not take long to get from spud to total depth
  • it appears there were few significant issues while drilling ahead
We'll know what CLR thinks of a 3-section horizontal if we see many more of these. There were a number of 1920-acre spacing requests in the most recent NDIC hearing docket but I did not check the layout of the drilling unit.


  1. OXY has the Stag 1-35-23 well which is over 25k ft. Hess also has a handful of wells that are from 22k to 23k ft. I believe at least a couple of the Hess wells are three mile laterals.
    The OXY well was an experiment to see if the extra distance is worth the extra cost. It will be interesting to see if more are drilled or not.
    I believe there was one other company considering three mile laterals, but I don't remember who it was.

    1. It might have been EOG; it seems I recall them talking about it.

      Great comment; thank you for taking time to write. I was not aware of the OXY USA Stag well.

      I brought your information forward to a stand-alone post here (where it is google searchable):

      The Bakken really is a "laboratory" for testing new ideas.

  2. From the form 6, it appears there were 2 side tracks while drilling the well...

    1. Yes, they did -- two side tracks. There was no narrative report regarding the drilling so no least that I could see.