A new company is planning to enter the Bakken Play in ND with two wildcats planned in central Dunn Co and one in McKenzie Co. Penn Virginia Oil & Gas has applied for 1280 acre drilling units in secs 10 and 15, T142, R95 and in secs. 15 and 22, T142, R94, Dunn Co. The area of interest in 142-95 is about three miles southeast of Manning Field, a four well Madison field operated by Encore Operating, and the other area is about another six miles further east in a non-producing township. Conoco drilled an unsuccessful Lodgepole test in that eastern area in sec 15, 142-94 in 1997. Penn Virginia's planned activity is near the Heart River Fault, which may be one reason the company chose this area. This fault runs northwest to the Murphy Creek Field area where Encore and Marathon are actively pursing the Bakken. Closest Bakken activity is being conducted by Ansbro Pet. about six miles to the southwest where the company is actively exploiting the Bakken in Russian Creek Field. Ansbro also has a mid-Bakken test planned about six miles to the northwest in Fayette Field.
In McKenzie Co, Penn Virginia has applied for a 1280 drilling unit in secs. 30 and 31, T149, R98, which is a virtually undrilled township. These two sections abut U.S. Highway 85 about seven miles south of Watford City and is three miles southwest of Cherry Creek Field.
On the company's website it stated: "During 2005, we also began evaluating several new potential development plays. In the Williston Basin, we drilled an exploratory well as part of our agreement with Bill Barrett Corporation for a 50 percent working interest in a 20,000 net acre Bakken Dolomite horizontal oil well prospect. If the test well results are encouraging, we expect to move forward with a development drilling program based on 640 acre spacing."