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From bust to bounty (Tens of billions of barrels of oil in ND and Mont)
Twincities.com ^ | 12/09/2007 | LESLIE BROOKS SUZUKAMO

Posted on 12/09/2007 7:05:16 AM PST by saganite

The oil industry has known for decades that there was oil in North Dakota's Bakken Formation. But until recently, few thought it was worth chasing.

The Bakken, an immense blanket of rock that covers about 200,000 square miles, stretching from Saskatchewan to straddle western North Dakota and eastern Montana, has long frustrated efforts to extract its oil.

The oil was two miles down and trapped in tightly packed horizontal layers of shale that were easy to miss with conventional drilling.

By 1999, when oil prices were low, the industry had largely given up on North Dakota, recalls Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council: For the first time since the discovery of its oil in 1951, no oil rigs were drilling new wells anywhere in the state. "It was devastating," he said.

Fast forward to 2007. On the day before Thanksgiving, Ness counted 54 rigs in the field, almost half of them clustered around Parshall, a farming community of about 1,000 people 60 miles southwest of Minot.

The turnabout is due to a combination of factors: new discoveries, new technology that puts previously unattainable oil within reach and high oil prices that make the search for oil economically worthwhile.

The new curiosity about North Dakota oil was sparked last year, when an oil exploration company, Houston-based EOG Resources, revealed that a well it had drilled into an oil-rich layer of shale below Parshall is expected to produce 700,000 barrels of oil.

Now rigs are arriving almost weekly, and farmers with the right pieces of land can become millionaires just by selling their mineral rights and collecting royalties. A year from now, if a study by the U.S. Geological Survey pans out, the state could see even more activity. Intrigued by the drilling around Parshall, the USGS is going to try next year to recalculate the oil potential of a geological formation called the Williston Basin, which includes the Bakken Formation below it.

The USGS wants to check out an estimate by the late Denver-based USGS geochemist Leigh Price, who wrote in 1999 that the Bakken's shale potentially contained 413 billion barrels of oil. By comparison, Alaska's North Slope, the nation's largest oil resource, holds between 50 billion and 70 billion barrels of oil.

Price died before the paper could be reviewed by fellow scientists and published, but his estimate has created quite a buzz in the industry.

"It's mind-boggling," said Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

The Bakken's oil would appear to dwarf that of Alaska, but Alaskan oil is much easier to get out of the ground. Federal geologists estimate that about 30 percent to 50 percent of the Alaskan oil is recoverable, or a mean of about 26 billion barrels.

The Bakken's shale is so tight that only 1 percent to 3 percent of it may be recoverable using present-day technology, Helms said. That would come to about 4.1 billion to 12.3 billion barrels.

By comparison, ANWR, the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, holds about 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable crude, according to USGS estimates.

"The Bakken is one of the worst rock (formations) on the planet," Helms said.

Still, with North Dakota crude fetching $78 a barrel lately, there could be serious money to be made.

It's that potential that is driving the renewed interest in North Dakota, with Parshall at its center. "This is probably one of the top two or three oil plays in the U.S. today," said Ness.

Wayzata-based Northern Oil and Gas is just one of several oil exploration companies hoping to cash in on Parshall's potential. The startup says it is one of the largest holders of mineral rights in the area, after EOG. In a joint venture with Austin, Texas-based Brigham Exploration, Northern Oil drilled its first well in Parshall last month.

Michael Reger, Northern Oil's CEO, grew up in an oil-industry family in Billings, Mont. By this time next year, he predicts, the wheat and grazing land around Parshall will have a well every few miles. Each well needs a whole 640-acre section because the pipe has to extend nearly a mile or more from the starting hole to make it efficient.

Horizontal drilling technology has made it possible to recover oil from the tight shale of the Bakken Formation, which has been estimated to contain 413 billion barrels of oil. By comparison, Alaska's North Slope, the nation s largest oil resource, holds between 50 billion and 70 billion barrels. (JOHN DOMAN, Pioneer Press)drilling, introduced about a dozen years ago, has given the oil industry a way to finally extract oil from the Bakken's shale and other places where it was once almost impossible.

As the drill reaches the sedimentary rock roughly 9,000 feet below the surface, it begins a gradual 90-degree turn into the layer for another mile, exposing more pipe to the shale for greater collection.

In the last few years, drillers added fracture technology to horizontal drilling. In fracture technology, mud is forced into the drilled hole under immense pressures to "frack" or break up the shale further. The deeper cracks allow more oil to flow to the pipe.

The advent of horizontal technology made drilling the Bakken practical, but it was the rise in crude oil prices that made it attractive. When North Dakota's oil industry tanked back in the 1990s, prices for its native crude fell to as low as $3 a barrel.

This year, honey-colored North Dakota crude hit an all-time high of $88.68 a barrel on Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, Helms said.

"The technology and the high commodity prices met at the right time," Ness said.

In 2005, before the Parshall wells had even been drilled, the state's $4 billion oil industry was contributing $280 million in taxes and throwing off another $280 million in royalties and lease payments, according to the petroleum association.

The association expects that the increased activity in the state will spur the oil industry to hire 12,000 more people, from roughnecks to geologists to truck drivers, over the next four years.

Annual salaries for the industry average about $60,000, about double the state's average, Ness said.

And although North Dakotans tend to avoid displays of extravagance, anecdotes of sudden oil wealth are starting to trickle in. "In Mountrail County, you're making millionaires out of farmers and ranchers there on a monthly basis," Ness said. "It's going to change the economy of the area for a significant time ahead."

Of course, not every county is a Mountrail and not every farmer a millionaire. The results from Dunn and Divide counties, where similar exploration efforts are underway, so far aren't as rosy as in Mountrail, he said.

And because the Bakken oil isn't easy to reach, it will take decades to realize the full potential of the formation.

"Getting it out is a problem - we've just barely figured out how to do that, so recovery is going to be very, very slow," said Helms of the state's mineral resources department.

The bustle of activity has piqued the interest of Mountrail County residents.

John O'Neill, 52, is the rig manager for Nabors Building, which is drilling a well for Northern Oil and Gas and Brigham Exploration. He is from Williston, but said his wife grew up three miles from the site and her family owns 14 quarter-acres nearby.

"So I'm really curious what this is going to do," he said, nodding to the drilling rig.

Maybe his in-laws are sitting on valuable mineral rights, he said. If so, he joked, maybe his wife won't need him anymore. He gives a hearty laugh.

"Everybody's pretty excited," O'Neill said. "But a lot of them don't know what to think."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: Montana; US: North Dakota
KEYWORDS: bakken; blackgold; drilling; energy; montana; northdakota; oil; texastea
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1 posted on 12/09/2007 7:05:18 AM PST by saganite
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: Baynative

and the endangered prarie fart fly....


3 posted on 12/09/2007 7:15:13 AM PST by xcamel (FDT/2008)
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To: Baynative
Image hosted by Photobucket.com thank you... let the injunctions commence!!!
4 posted on 12/09/2007 7:16:08 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist)
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To: saganite

Can someone explain the process of heating the oil before they pump it out? Thanks


5 posted on 12/09/2007 7:16:43 AM PST by yoe ( NO THIRD TERM FOR THE CLINTON'S!!!)
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To: Baynative

There has been drilling in Montana and ND for decades. It would be hard for the environmentalists to complain now, especially since even the Democrats in those states are onboard.


6 posted on 12/09/2007 7:17:09 AM PST by saganite
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To: saganite
The oil was two miles down and trapped in tightly packed horizontal layers of shale that were easy to miss with conventional drilling.

Is this the same 'shale oil' that Jimmah predicted would be our savior from the clutches OPEC??

I'd hate to see that the ijit was right - just a few decades off. If so the moonbats will go nuts, they'll want him on Mt. Rushmore.

7 posted on 12/09/2007 7:19:12 AM PST by Condor51 (Rudy has more baggage than Samsonite. But that's okay, the NYPD carries it. /s)
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To: yoe

They don’t heat the oil in this formation since it flows after the fracturing process. You’re probably thinking about the oil in Colorado which is even more tightly bound in the shale rock. They have been experimenting with heating that rock to unbind the oil.


8 posted on 12/09/2007 7:19:26 AM PST by saganite
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To: xcamel

...and women and minorities to be “hit hardest” by the drilling.


9 posted on 12/09/2007 7:21:10 AM PST by rabidralph
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To: rabidralph

But we must do it “for the children”.


10 posted on 12/09/2007 7:22:03 AM PST by Utah Binger (Fred Thompson: Worth Noticing)
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To: Condor51

Is this the same ‘shale oil’ that Jimmah predicted would be our savior from the clutches OPEC??

No. This oil is in shale rock but it can be extracted much easier than the shale oil Jimmuh was talking about. It’s still an expensive process but once they fracture the shale rock the oil flows as it would in a normal well. The shale oil Jimmuh was talking about either has to be mined and processed or heated in the ground over the course of years to extract the oil. Two entirely different animals here.


11 posted on 12/09/2007 7:22:58 AM PST by saganite
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Baynative

It won’t happen here. The drilling in this formation has been ongoing for about a decade now and there’s been little or no effort to stop it.


13 posted on 12/09/2007 7:29:10 AM PST by saganite
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To: saganite
In neighboring South Dakota, efforts by a Canadian pipeline company to build a crude oil pipeline from the Canadian oil shale regions across the Dakotas are similarly being stymied by environmental activists. Hyperion Oil of Texas also want to build the first new oil refinery in decades in southeastern South Dakota again guess who is opposing ...the tree huggers.

If these environmentalist wackos are so concerned about the earth why aren't they protesting in Venezuela, China or the Gulf States where environmental concerns in the oil industry are almost an afterthought?

14 posted on 12/09/2007 7:29:50 AM PST by The Great RJ ("Mir we bleiwen wat mir sin" or "We want to remain what we are." ..Luxembourg motto)
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To: Smokin' Joe

ping

See any names you recognize in this article?


15 posted on 12/09/2007 7:30:31 AM PST by saganite
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To: yoe
Up north of Edmonton in the tar sands area, steam is injected in some of these bodies to produce a flow of heavy oil. Other locations use CO2 combined with workover fluid, which is usually a heavy cut of petroleum or petro + clay.
16 posted on 12/09/2007 7:31:09 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: saganite
There has been drilling in Montana and ND for decades. It would
be hard for the environmentalists to complain now, especially since
even the Democrats in those states are onboard.


In a sane world...you'd be right on target.

"Sixty Minutes" had a segment on the great energy reserves
under Montana and neighboring states.

A good part of the segment was about the coalition of burr-cut
ranchers and bath-once-a-year environmentalists already throwing
up roadblocks to energy projects.

At the very least, these enviro-nutburgers will slow down the
enterprise and make it more expensive.
17 posted on 12/09/2007 7:34:11 AM PST by VOA
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: The Great RJ

I’ve picked up chatter about this SE SD refinery project a couple of times. It looks like its target would be Twin Cities and east, via Williams. Seems like Murphy, Ashland and FHR have this covered, especially in light of their expansions.


19 posted on 12/09/2007 7:37:22 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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We must protest and resist this drilling, then ramp up the rhetoric of our dependence on foreign oil.


20 posted on 12/09/2007 7:45:07 AM PST by svanni
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To: Baynative
The story left out the part where environmentalists come from all corners of the world to protest the exploration and search for wetlands or endangered species.

Yup.

Texas and California at the turn of the 20th century.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket And the enviro-weenies have nothing to offer as a solution to our nation's energy requirements.

21 posted on 12/09/2007 7:47:30 AM PST by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: Cobra64

And the enviro-weenies have nothing to offer as a solution to our nation’s energy requirements.

Sure they do. Wind and solar, but only so long as it’s not used in industrial quantities. Thn it kills birds or prevents sunlight from reaching the ground. Then it’s evil.


22 posted on 12/09/2007 8:03:26 AM PST by saganite
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To: saganite

They want us to live in caves.


23 posted on 12/09/2007 8:14:03 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: The Great RJ
why aren't they protesting in Venezuela, China or the Gulf States

Please don't encourage them.

24 posted on 12/09/2007 8:14:50 AM PST by SouthTexas (Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas.)
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To: saganite
Well Mr. Matthews I don't rightly know what a enviromentalist is. But if Granny sees one I'm sure she'll shoot it.


25 posted on 12/09/2007 8:25:15 AM PST by RGSpincich
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Baynative

You can still see the remains of that drilling when you fly over West Texas. Even though the rigs and buildings are gone the drill sites are still easily visible from 30,000 feet.


27 posted on 12/09/2007 8:38:02 AM PST by saganite
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To: saganite

My understanding of the history of the Nazi’s is that they fueled their war mostly with oil from Romania until they captured the Soviet oil fields in the Caucusus in ‘41 and ‘42. By late 1944, after the US had bombed the Romanian oil tanks and refineries at Ploesti, and after the Nazis were pushed out of the Caucusus, they refined enough oily shale—which they mined from within Germany itself—into motor fuel to supply their war effort, including the massive offensive in the Ardennes Forest (Battle of the Bulge). What happened to that technology? The Germans apparently mastered it in a matter of months. Compare that to Jimma Cawta’s multi-billion dollar Synfuels boondoggle.

There are ample opportunities for US eneregy independence at low prices if Democrats and their attendant enviromental extremists would step aside. High prices and limited access to resources are beneficial to them and their special interest political classes.


28 posted on 12/09/2007 8:43:26 AM PST by Combat_Liberalism
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To: The Great RJ

Because protesting in those countries gets you shot.


29 posted on 12/09/2007 9:03:13 AM PST by Rumplemeyer
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To: Combat_Liberalism

I thought they also got oil from coal. In fact that process is being used in certain places now.


30 posted on 12/09/2007 9:16:14 AM PST by appeal2 (r)
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To: Combat_Liberalism

Wartime necessity. Cost isn’t a factor when you need to keep your tanks rolling and planes flying. It wasn’t cost competitive.


31 posted on 12/09/2007 9:25:05 AM PST by saganite
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To: saganite

Excellent! It’s time to take the restraints off the oil industry. We need both new supplies and new refinery capacity if we are to wean ourselves off Middle East and South American crude. We should all be marching toward the day when the President can hold a press conference to announce to the world that we no longer need ME or SA crude, and would they please go pound sand...


32 posted on 12/09/2007 9:29:31 AM PST by PubliusMM (Just doin' my best to stay free and secure. God Bless our military personnel.)
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To: saganite

Thanks for posting this good news thread.


33 posted on 12/09/2007 9:29:32 AM PST by Joya (For more info on Hucksterbee, go to http://www.arkjournal.com/)
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To: R W Reactionairy; All
For the first time since the discovery of its oil in 1951, no oil rigs were drilling new wells anywhere in the state. "It was devastating," he said.

Fast forward to 2007. On the day before Thanksgiving, Ness counted 54 rigs in the field............

The USGS wants to check out an estimate by the late Denver-based USGS geochemist Leigh Price, who wrote in 1999 that the Bakken's shale potentially contained 413 billion barrels of oil. By comparison, Alaska's North Slope, the nation's largest oil resource, holds between 50 billion and 70 billion barrels of oil.

You all realize what a disaster this is don't you? It can lead to a extremely nasty global recession, not a sharp rise in production. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1934873/posts?page=24#24

Who would have thought little ole' capitalistic North Dakota would bring the worlds economy to its' knees? Not me.

Not only that, but it seems like Peak Oil, that ubiquitous curse of civilization is perhaps NOT occurring at this moment, but will be retreating to the horizon again, eternally mocking us. Can’t we EVER get that behind us?

And here I thought, with the world was awash in oil, this find in ND would be a bright spot for everyone, no, instead it's probably our doom clock ringing..

34 posted on 12/09/2007 9:38:44 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: VOA

[”Sixty Minutes” had a segment on the great energy reserves
under Montana and neighboring states]

Don’t Ted Turner and a host of media people have land interests up in that part of the world? Hmmm.


35 posted on 12/09/2007 9:42:18 AM PST by dbacks (Taglines for sale or rent.)
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To: yoe

Steam injection, it slides rigght past the oil, bounces off the far end and displaces the oil back across the pipe and up out the top.


36 posted on 12/09/2007 9:53:57 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: saganite
Hers's what EOG Resources web site had to say:

- In Mountrail County, North Dakota, EOG has reported successful drilling from the Bakken Formation.

- The Wenco #1-30H, in which EOG has a 52% working interest, was completed to sales at the end of September at an initial production rate of 1,930 barrels of oil per day (Bopd), gross.

- Also in Mountrail County, the Austin #1-02H was completed to sales in October at an initial production rate of 2,000 Bopd. EOG has a 100% working interest in the well, which is located nine miles north of existing production. This is the northernmost location that EOG has drilled to date.

Those are quite respectable well rates. But the well rates must fall off a good bit if they only expect to ultimately recover 700,000 barrels from one well.

37 posted on 12/09/2007 10:17:07 AM PST by rustbucket
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To: rustbucket; Smokin' Joe

Production on those wells typically falls off about 50% or so in the first year or sooner. Smokin’ Joe is the resident expert on this as he works those fields.


38 posted on 12/09/2007 10:23:13 AM PST by saganite
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To: xcamel

The endangered fartfly!

Almost sprayed the monitor with that one!


39 posted on 12/09/2007 10:37:18 AM PST by exit82 (How do you handle Hillary? You Huma her.)
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To: exit82

you’re welcome.


40 posted on 12/09/2007 1:47:53 PM PST by xcamel (FDT/2008)
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To: Baynative
Yea, Democrats just can't stand the thought that we might acutally be able to produce and refine some of our own oil. They're watermelons, green on the outside and red on the inside. Democrats want to destroy capitalism.

We need to be producing oil every where someone is willing to risk their money to get it.

I'd love for it to be in my back yard.

41 posted on 12/09/2007 1:56:42 PM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: The Great RJ
If these environmentalist wackos are so concerned about the earth why aren't they protesting in Venezuela, China or the Gulf States where environmental concerns in the oil industry are almost an afterthought?

Because they don't really care about the environment. They use it as the pretense of caring about the environment. They only care about destroying capitalism and Republicans let them get by with it.

42 posted on 12/09/2007 1:59:52 PM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: saganite

You can still see the remains of that drilling when you fly over West Texas.
*********************************
There’s still an active derrick at Hollywood High in L.A. although I think they have it disguised as a clock tower or some such thing ,, it pays for all their school trips , busses for football away games and such.


43 posted on 12/09/2007 2:28:53 PM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: Balding_Eagle
"The Bakken's shale is so tight that only 1 percent to 3 percent of it may be recoverable using present-day technology, Helms said. That would come to about 4.1 billion to 12.3 billion barrels. By comparison, ANWR, the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, holds about 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable crude, according to USGS estimates. "

The Bakken is one of the worst rock (formations) on the planet," Helms said." [Emphasis added by RWR]

Not certain what your point is. From what I know, the Bakken is one of those areas where enhance recovery techniques may make a big positive difference. I hope it does and a 2000 barrel initial rate of production and an ultimate recoverable of 700,000 barrels is quite impressive. Please note however, that the action seems to be mostly in one small area. Maybe it contains a sand lens, or is otherwise atypical. Maybe the whole state of North Dakota is as prospective. My guess [and it is only a guess] is that there are sweet spots and this is one of them.

I also know, that if you are relying on information in this article to portray this long recognized formation as a silver bullet, you need to reread the article.

I am very curious why this isn't more of a gas play as shales have a notorious lack of permeability which makes natural gas production while difficult, but more frequently feasible.

44 posted on 12/09/2007 3:06:50 PM PST by R W Reactionairy ("Everyone is entitled to their own opinion ... but not to their own facts" Daniel Patrick Moynihan)
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To: Condor51
Is this the same 'shale oil' that Jimmah predicted would be our savior from the clutches OPEC??

NO.

The article is full of misconceptions, the oil is not in the shale, but came from there. It is only produced from the shale economically when the shale is severely farctured, usually it is produced from layers which are relatively conventional tight but porous reservoirs near the shale.

Other misconceptions:

The oil is dark green, not honey colored, at least in the 50 wells I have worked. The foam is orange or light green, depending on where you are.

You don't sell your mineral rights if you want royalties, you lease them, otherwise the new owner gets the royalties. You got paid for the mineral rights.

If you wait to get to the formation to turn to hroizontal you will end up about 410 feet too low, and the chances of you getting enough wellbore in zone to pay for the well that way are about zip. You have to anticipate the depth of the formation within a few tens of feet and generally make corrections along the way to get in and stay in the producing strata. The rock layers do not stay level, either, but are folded as a rule, so you have to stay with the formation's structural changes to stay in it as well as you go laterally.

45 posted on 12/09/2007 3:09:18 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: R W Reactionairy
you are relying on information in this article to portray this long recognized formation as a silver bullet

Just one of thousands. With the world awash in oil we don't need to rely on a silver bullet, we've got a case full of boxes full of them.

46 posted on 12/09/2007 3:46:16 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: R W Reactionairy

The Barnett shale in Texas is primarily a gas play and is as relatively large in that respect as the Bakken is in oil production. Additionally, since this is relatively new technology oil companies are looking at known formations they have passed on previously because they didn’t have the technology to exploit it. I believe the article states the Bakken was well known for decades but couldn’t be exploited. That’s true in many places.


47 posted on 12/09/2007 4:19:51 PM PST by saganite
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To: saganite
Thanks. I know a little about the Barnett Shale. I don’t have any production, but I have a small interest in a gas well in Wise County that is holding some acreage.

The effort involved makes Barnett Shale wells very expensive wells.

The issue I see with the Bakken is that unless you are in sweet spot [lots of communicated fracturing or maybe clean sandy streaks], the oil just isn’t going to flow to the well bore anywhere near as readily as would natural gas.

48 posted on 12/09/2007 4:40:06 PM PST by R W Reactionairy ("Everyone is entitled to their own opinion ... but not to their own facts" Daniel Patrick Moynihan)
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To: R W Reactionairy
I am very curious why this isn't more of a gas play as shales have a notorious lack of permeability which makes natural gas production while difficult, but more frequently feasible.

There is a fair amount of gas associated with the oil, but the oil is the thing people are after. Gas produced from the Bakken tends to have a fairly high proportion of Propane, Butane, and other 'heavies' relative to Methane.

The rocks are Mississippian in age, older than the usual Cretaceous gas play.

Depending on where you are, there is an upper shale of up to roughly 30 feet in thickness, the Middle Bakken (carbonates with some sand/silt stringers), and depending on where you are, a lower shale.

Both shales are black to very dark brown and very carbonaceous, except where they are remanants just before pinch out. While they will not fluoresce under a black light, when bathed in solvent in a spot dish the presence of oil is obvious by the cut--oil fluorescing as it is washed out of the rock.

At no place does the Bakken actually outcrop: the entire formation is only known from subsurface data, cores and drill cuttings.

As a result, the entire kerogen load of the source rocks (the shales) is trapped in the subsurface, and while some of this remains bound in the shales, oil and gas have migrated to tight reservoirs in the Middle Bakken, the lower Lodgepole, and oil shows have been noted down to the sand/silt stringers in the top of the Three Forks Formation (which underlies the Bakken) especially where the lower shale is present.

The Shale was drilled in the 80s horizontally, but, for the most part, only those wells which intersected extensive fractures (and, perhaps--a theory of mine I have not had time to verify) or went out of the shale into reservoir in the adjacent Middle Bakken reached payout.

Current efforts concentrate on porous rock in the Middle Bakken.

Vertical Bakken production has existed for decades, both in the sand interval known as the Sannish (most notably southeast of Newtown, ND) and along the Nesson Anticline and in the area of the Billings nose, although wells considered to be economical were realtively uncommon.

As the Williston Basin contains a number of 'stacked' pay formations, the Bakken may have been produced in some of these wells as a secondary target prior to P&A after producing a deeper zone such as the Duperow or Red River Formations.

The wells in the Parshall play have some of the best IPs so far on the North Dakota side, most start out at 1/4 of that or less (before the frac job).

Still, a 300-500 BOPD IP of 35 to 42 API gravity is nothing to sneeze at, and at today's prices offers a reasonable ROI.

Prior to having problems with pipeline capacity, the Bakken oil was among the highest midcontinent oils in price, about the same as WTI.

Recovery rates may be understated in the case of the Middle Bakken, some operators have estimated 10% or better in Montana wells, and development of better fraccing/production techniques is ongoing and may show significant improvements.

There is a tendency to be somewhat cautious and not hype what a formation will do, and if anything, to understate it to prevent a situation in which operators are disappointed, especially if you are the head of a State Agency.

No one wants a reputation for BS in an industry where the numbers will tell the story later.

49 posted on 12/09/2007 4:46:01 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: saganite
See any names you recognize in this article?

Yep.

50 posted on 12/09/2007 4:47:05 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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