Marathon has requested an that an astonishing 56 sections be divided into 28 separate 1280 drilling units in Dunn Co. Marathon has asked that Murphy Creek Field southwest of Killdeer be expanded to include 18 of those drilling units encompassing 36 additional sections, centered mainly in T.144, R.96, about six miles east of the Little Knife anticline. The attached map has those drilling units shaded in blue, although there are several sections shaded that are already subject to approved drilling units or spacing units within the field. Marathon recently became active in the area by spudding on the Hecker lease in secs. 5 and 8, T.144, R.96., and has two more locations staked immediately to the east and the northwest of this active well. One helpful aspect of this area is the availability of the Little Knife gas processing plant about ten miles to the west.
This is also the area that Encore Operating recently reported development plans (see 6/26 post), and it's possible the two companies may have entered in an operating agreement, or that Marathon has a working interest in all of these proposed units. Encore has switched to utilizing single lateral wells on 640 acre units instead using dual laterals. The company is currently drilling on the Truchan lease in sec. 33, T.145, R.95. Most of the leases in this area are set to expire in about two years.
Marathon has also requested that ten 1280 acre drilling units be established in scattered areas of T.146, R.93, T.145, R.93 & 94,and T.144, R.93. This area of interest is generally east, south and southeast of the current configuration of Bailey Field.
Word is that Marathon has one and possibly two more of its new-build Helmrich & Payne rigs arriving in August. It may be probable that the company may well meet its goal of drilling 300 Bakken wells in the next few years.
Encore announced today that it may add a second and possibly a third rig to its Bakken development program by next year.