Saturday, December 27, 2014

Heat Map For The Williston Basin Bakken -- December 27, 2014

In a recent post, thirteen (13) areas were delineated in the Williston Basin Bakken:
1. Sanish
2. Parshall
3. Nesson Anticline
4. Fort Berthold
5. West Nesson
6. Northern Mountrail
7. Williams County, core
8. Dunn County
9. Elm Coulee
10. Williams County perimeter
11. McKenzie County
12. North Williston
13. Bakken southern fringe
A reader sent me a presentation from the premier oil and gas industry consulting firm that also breaks the Williston Basin Bakken into three areas:
1. North Williston
2. Dunn County
3. West Nesson
4. Northern Mountrail
5. Williams Core
6. Parshall Sanish
7. Fort Berthold
8. West McKenzie
9. Williams County Perimeter
10. Nesson Anticline
11. Southern Bakken Fringe
12. Elm Coulee
13. Montana Frontier
There appears to be only one difference between the two groups: one analyst breaks Parshall and Sanish into two areas; the other analyst combines them. Both groups total thirteen. So, what is the "new" group in that second analysis? The Montana Frontier. 
The Montana Frontier is essentially Roosevelt County, Montana, west of Williams County (remember, Elm Coulee, is in Richland County, Montana, west of McKenzie County).

The analyst includes an incredible "heat map" of the Williston Basin Bakken.  The "heat map" is color coded, ranging from blue - through green - yellow - orange - red (the ROYGBIV rainbow) with "red" as the best ("hottest") plays.

Red: IP 30 (which I assume is initial production for first 30 days), maximum: 2,400 bbls/day.

The analyst notes that in calendar year 2008, only two areas were "red": areas 6 and 12. 

In 2014, areas that are predominantly red:
3: West Nesson (the entire north half) 
5: Williams Core
6: Parshall Sanish
7: Fort Berthold
10: Nesson Anticline
Significant portions of the following areas are also red:
2: Dunn County
11: Southern Bakken Fringe
12: Elm Coulee
Areas with red along the river:
8: West McKenzie
9: Williams Perimeter
Surprisingly, even a small area in the far north of Divide County, area 1, has some red.

By the way, back to the Montana Frontier. In the first list, the Montana Frontier was not mentioned. In the more recent presentation, the Montana Frontier was mentioned. Interestingly, there is a pocket of "red" right around Bainville, Montana (hard to tell for sure on the map, but I think I am correct). If so, that explains the recent article about the infrastructure problems around Bainville.

The big takeaway from this one slide: as the operators begin to "circle the wagons" in the Bakken, the "heat map" in 2014 is significantly different than the "heat map" in 2008. And not by a trivial amount. 

The presentation was undated (as far as I could tell, but the URL suggested it was a December, 2014, presentation. The slide in oil prices began in October, 2014.


The very next slide in that presentation is a "heat map" of the Eagle Ford. In the Bakken slide above, the "heat" goes up to 2,400 bopd for first 30-day IP.

In the Eagle Ford slide, the "heat" goes up to 3,000+ of boepd per month. The legend does not specify 30-day month, and it is clearly a condensate play, though one area has evolved into an oil play, the Hawkville Condensate to the far southwest.

Two observations with regard to the Eagle Ford heat map:
  • it explains the incredible number of articles RBN Energy has posted on the Eagle Ford condensate tsunami; and, 
  • possibly, whether one can reach any conclusion on the relative competition between the Eagle Ford and the Bakken with regard to oil if push comes to shove (oil below $50)
The Permian, of course, is a n oil play, but its horizontal component is "high cost" compared to the Bakken.


  1. Link the presentation.

    Otherwise, this post is too confusing. Can't follow you referring to colors and slides of something we can't follow along with.

  2. Could you include a link for the presentation with the new heat map? Thanks

    1. The presentation is undated and is copyrighted. The map is not much different than the one that I posted earlier.