February 5, 2020: a reader shared this information about these wells -- see comments:
These wells are There Forks B1 and middle Bakken. Other fields are doing 2560s. These wells are keeping the 1280-acre spacing. They will use two pads, 5 going north and 7 going south, based on blue prints. I think they might change some field orders to include more wells, 6 wells was based on 2012 designs. They are maxed out on my space but left the field only half developed. A field near by increased from 6 wells to 14 wells. I assume that they will do this as well. I also noted that they used the term "Three Forks B1." They never used the "B1" before. If I'm reading it correctly the length of the lateral is "LINER – LAT #1: 11,037 feet."Comments:
- I'm not sure what the reader means by two pads. Everything below suggests one pad in each of the three drilling units; one pad with four horizontal wells; two pads each with five horizontal wells. The wells are all running south to north based on the map below. (Unless the reader means that these new wells are on a separate pad from the original parent well, and then that makes sense -- two pads in each drilling unit as shown below.)
- This may be the first time this operator has used "B1" (although I doubt it), but "B1" is a common acronym in the Williston Basin when talking about the Three Forks. Three Forks B1 is the first bench of the Three Forks.
- These wells are on "DRL" status and not on the confidential list; the information for these wells is available over at the NDIC site, basic subscription required.
Anyone note the pattern here?
Anyone want to guess where the next five-well pad will be drilled?
For newbies: this is "classic Bakken."
- when the Bakken boom began, it would have been natural for drilling units/spacing units to be one section (640 acres -- one of those one-mile squares in the graphic above);
- but for some reason, the operators and the state regulators agreed that the "standard" Bakken drilling unit would be two sections (1280 acres; one mile by two miles) -- this turned out to be an incredibly prescient, perfect spacing unit (the Permian is still trying to sort our spacing units);
- in the early days of the boom, the setback rules were more restrictive than they are now;
- the first well/horizontal was drilled early in the boom -- "to hold the lease by production" -- once a company had a producing well -- no matter how little -- that protected the lease for the entire spacing unit for the operator;
- later the operator could come back and drill development/infill wells;
- the original wells in the graphics above were drilled inside the drilling unit (due to restrictive setback rules) and lots of oil was "orphaned" along the southern section line;
- since the early days, the setback rules have become less restrictive, and the operators are taking advantage of that by siting the wells outside of the spacing unit, and then perforating the horizontals as close to the section line as possible;
- although the new horizontals run in the same direction as the original horizontal, that is not always the case; there are any examples of new horizontals running in the opposite direction as the original well;
- in a "virgin" area like this, the new wells are generally all middle Bakken wells, but as the area becomes more saturated with wells, there will be more Three Forks wells, first targeting the first bench; later targeting deeper benches; because these four or five wells are so closely spaced, it is likely that about half are middle Bakken well, and about half are Three Forks, first bench wells;
- older wells are taken off line when the new wells are fracked; but the older wells are not necessarily taken off line when the new wells are "simply" being drilled;
- when the original wells (or the "parent" wells) are brought back on line, there is generally an increase in production; sometimes it is significant; often not; sometimes that jump in production lasts a long time; sometimes it lasts one month;
- note: these spacing units have five to six horizontals; look how much "space" is available for more wells;
That graphic was especially interesting.
The wells on leftmost pad look like the 'curve' is south of the section line, which might indicate that the perforations start immediately as the lateral crosses (northerly) into the new section.More rock would be accessed this way, and, perhaps, at the toe also?
If the pooling/Unitization/Setback changes allow wells to closely approach the next section at the toe?The numbers on the well files should show this as they always include the start/stop footage of the perforations.
I would not be surprised if those wells on that left most pads had longer lengths of perforated wellbore than the other two pads.
I no longer have the data accessible so I cannot check.
The reader is exactly correct about the"longer perforated laterals" -- all things being equal, this will result in increased production.If my speculation is correct, these longer perforated laterals - emanating from both the heel and toe portions - could significantly boost production numbers.
But all is not equal: the newer wells will be fracked with new frack strategies (including more proppant).
In addition, because of the original wells, the geologists and roughnecks will be much more familiar with the peculiarities of the spacing unit.
I assume there is much more that could be written but that's enough for now.
By the way, the drilling unit with the horizontal with a permit number #19500 is likely to be drilled next, but as of yet, not even any permits have been issued for the drilling unit.