Monday, July 30, 2007

Marathon Shifts Into High Gear, Dunn Co.

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.

7/31 UPDATE:

Encore announced today that it may add a second and possibly a third rig to its Bakken development program by next year.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

EOG Keeps Filling The Tanks, Parshall Field, Mountrail Co.

EOG has completed the Patten 1-02H well, sec. 2, T.152, R.90, in Parshall Field as another impressive producer at 1487 bbls/day. This well is a slight southeast stepout to the other producers in the field that are off confidential status and it has produced 42k bbls in the three months up to and including May. In May, the Bartelson well produced about 11k bbls, and the Warberg well made about 10k bbls. Some of the newer wells still on confidential status are reportedly producing in excess of a steady 1k bbls day, including a Whiting O. & G. well about ten miles to the west.

The best Bakken well in the state with reportable production, the Petro-Hunt USA 2B-3-1H well in Charlson Field, made just over 24k bbls for the month of May.

In the context of significance for the state oil industry, this find at Parshall Field appears to be on the scale not seen since the Lodgepole play in the Dickinson area in the early 90s, which had the industry in the entire country abuzz with the incredible production figures and reserves of those wells. Whether the geologic conditions involved in Parshall field include or extend beyond a township or two is the million dollar question, literally. Another area with some very impressive production figures still on confidential status is in the north Oakdale area of Dunn Co. Unfortunately, many of the Bakken wells outside of a few currently proven areas in other parts of the Bakken play appear to be marginally economic at best. I'm sure a few papers will be written about the Parshall field in the coming years that should shed some light on the interesting background information regarding its discovery and development.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Marathon Tries New Drilling Approach, Dunn Co.

Marathon has received permission to drill two separate horizontal wells on the Beck lease in secs. 5 and 8, T.146, R.94 in Bailey Field, Dunn Co. The field rules currently allow only one horizontal well per1280 acre unit. Marathon doesn't know if two wells are necessary to effectively drain a 1280 unit, but it thinks the plan will probably be economic, and the company plans to drill the first well and then skid the rig the few feet to the other surface location. The most important aspect of this strategy is that it will also allow the company to better utilize currently available completion and stimulation procedures then if dual laterals were drilled from a single vertical wellbore.

Marathon also has an application pending for a two well per drilling unit project just to the southw
est in secs. 18 and 19. Marathon also received permission for five 1280 acre drilling units to the east of Bailey Field in the eastern part of T.146, R.93 and the extreme northwestern part of T.145, R93. The company also has an application pending for an additional four 1280 acre drilling units scattered in T.144, R94, T145, R.92, and T.145, R.94.

Marathon currently has three rigs drilling in the area. It's fourth rig that is drilling in Mountrail Co. is expected to move to a two mile west stepout to Murphy Creek Field and drill in secs. 5 and 8 of T.144, R.96, in the near future (see map, 3/20 post).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Burlington/Continental Res. Expand Aggressive Development Program, Dunn Co.

Continental and Burlington have requested that sixteen additional sections be divided into 1280 acre drilling units for Bakken development. The new area of interest is primarily under the Killdeer Mountains in the west half of T. 146, R.96, and several sections in the extreme northern tier of T.145, R.96 and the extreme nothwestern sections in T.145, R. 95.

If these new wells are drilled, almost three entire townships will have been drilled or spaced for wells in the area encompassing T.146, R.94 through 96 and areas immediately north and south of these townships. Currently Continental/Burlington and Marathon have six rigs running in this area, and it is without question one of the hottest Bakken areas in the state.

Ansbro To Reenter Last Year's Blowout/Fire Hole

Ansbro plans to reenter the Kadrmas 41-1H, sec 1, T143, R98, Billings Co., in the next few days or week to retrieve some lost junk that was left in the hole. They also plan to finish drilling the second half of the southwest lateral that was aborted after getting about halfway to its planned terminus when it became unsafe to continue drilling because of the pressure and flow of oil and gas encountered during trips. The well was drilled last summer and caught fire after taking a kick that couldn't be controlled while drilling the curve for the first lateral and a replacement rig had to be brought in. Thus, this will be the third rig to set up on this location.

The southeast lateral was drilled to its maximum length but has never been opened because the junk pre
vented the removal of the whipstock and bridge plug that a workover rig attempted to remove after the pressure subsided some this past winter. This is Ansbro's best Bakken well and has produced almost 55k bbls as of this April, which is quite impressive considering all that production came from only 2,600 ft of lateral. Ansbro has since switched to single lateral holes that transverse two sections.