Bakken Major Contributor to EOG's Production Growth in Q2

EOG Resources Bakken Acreage Map
EOG Resources Bakken Acreage Map

In its second quarter report, EOG Resources said the Bakken and Eagle Ford Shale plays were major contributors to EOG's overall production growth.

EOG's U.S. crude oil production grew 33% year-over-year and associated natural gas liquids NGLs grew 22% year-over-year.

See below for EOG's U.S. production volumes for the quarter:

  • Crude Oil and Condensate - 274,600 b/d
  • NGLs - 78,500 b/d
  • Natural Gas - 925 MMcfd

The company said most of its activity was focused on its core acreage in Mountrail County during the quarter. According to company officials, well productivity improved due to continued refinements in completion designs.

In EOG's first-quarter report, the company indicated its activity in the Bakken would nearly double. So far, the company is on track to hit their target goal.

Read more: EOG Resources Plans to Nearly Double Bakken Activity in 2014

EOG Bakken Second Quarter Operations Update

Three Core wells were completed during the second quarter in Mountrail County:

  • Wayzetta 43-0311H - 1,505 b/d
  • Wayzetta 44-0311H - 2,410 b/d
  • Wayzetta 45-0311H - 2,690 b/d

EOG says it plans to drill several Three Forks wells to test various benches of this play on both its core and Antelope extension acreage during the remainder of 2014. Currently, the company has a six rig program running in the Bakken, and 80 net wells planned for the full-year.

Is the Bakken America's Last Oil Boom?

EOG CEO Bill Thomas
EOG CEO Bill Thomas

At the Thirtieth Annual Sanford C. Bernstein Conference on May 29, 2014, EOG Resources CEO Bill Thomas indicated the company doesn't see another shale play of the same magnitude as the Bakken or Eagle Ford on the horizon.

According to Thomas, the Bakken and the Eagle Ford currently produce 75% of all horizontal oil production in the U.S., but he notes the two plays are beginning to mature, and their growth rates are beginning to slow.

Thomas said, “we don’t see another play out there that’s like an Eagle Ford or Bakken that will maintain this tremendous growth that we have had going forward. So production we believe is beginning to slow. In 2012, [production] was about 1-million b/d per year and then last year was a little over 800,000 b/d per year. We are looking at maybe this year 750, maybe in 2016 650,000 b/d per year and really over a fairly short period of time we really believe that the U.S. will be in kind of a very low growth mode. So oil is not going to just go on forever because there is not really another Eagle Ford or Bakken out there.

Thomas' postulation about the Bakken and Eagle Ford, which is likely an accurate depiction, doesn't diminish the impact these plays have already had, or will continue to have on the oil and gas industry, and the U.S. economy. According to the EIA, production in the Bakken Shale has now exceeded the 1-million b/d mark. Recently, Continental Resources, the Bakken Shale's largest producer, released data showing the Bakken field of North Dakota and Montana reached the milestone of 1-billion bbls of cumulative light, sweet crude oil produced during first quarter of 2014.

Read more: Continental Resources: Bakken Hits 1-Billion Barrel Mark

EOG Resources Nearly Doubling Bakken Activity in 2014

EOG Bakken Acreage Map
EOG Bakken Acreage Map

EOG Resources sees the Bakken as a high rate of return growth play, and plans on drilling 80-net wells in 2014.

That's nearly double the number of net-wells drilled in 2013, which was 54. At that rate, the company has a drilling inventory in the Bakken of ~8 years.

Read more: EOG Will Utilize Self Sourced Sand in Bakken Completions

EOG Resources Bakken Development in 2014

EOG Resource's focus area will be in its Bakken core acreage (~90,000 net acres) and the Antelope Extension area.

Based on successful drilling results in the Three Forks formation in the Antelope Extension in 2013, EOG plans on testing additional benches during 2014.

Completion and cost improvements in the play have resulted in EOG deciding to direct more of its capital budget to the Bakken.

EOG is directing a larger percentage of its 2014 capital budget to the Eagle Ford and Bakken where we have tremendous drilling opportunity with excellent rates of return,” said CEO, William Thomas. “By increasing activity in these plays, we expect the momentum and operational efficiencies we’ve created to continue.

In 2013, EOG ramped up its drilling plan from one to four wells per section, while increasing the average recoverable resource per well. More downspacing is expected in 2014.

EOG Resources Bakken Well Highlights

Wayzetta 30-3230H and 31-3230H (Mountrail County)

  • Initial production (IP) of 2,510 b/d and 2,540 b/d crude oil respectively

Wayzetta 35-1920H (Mountrail County)

  • Initial production (IP) of 2,240 b/d crude oil
  • Initial production (IP) of 1.2 mmcf/d natural gas

Hawkeye 2-2501H (McKenzie County)

  • Initial production (IP) of 2,075 b/d crude oil
  • Initial production (IP) of 3.8 mmcf/d natural gas


EOG Will Utilize Self-Sourced Sand in Bakken Completions

EOG Resources Bakken Map
EOG Resources Bakken Map

EOG Resources is shifting to self-sourced sand for use in completions in the Bakken and Three Forks. The company has owned and operated sand mines supplying other plays for years.

EOG's sand mines will contribute to significant well cost savings.

Most of the company's current activity is focused in the core area of the Parshall field and the company's Antelope Extension. EOG plans to complete 54 net wells in those areas in 2013.

EOG is consistently making the best oil wells in the best two oil plays in North America, the Eagle Ford and Bakken/Three Forks.
— CEO, William R. "Bill" Thomas.

The company's utilization of more fluid and sand in completions is proving successful in the Bakken. The company has seen both improved recoveries and returns in the play.

EOG Bakken and Three Forks Well Highlights

  • Six wells produced initial rates of approximately 2,000 b/d of oil or more in Mountrail County
  • Three - Three Forks wells in the Antelope Area came online at rates between 1,235-2,100 b/d of oil

"Every quarter, EOG's technical understanding of the Eagle Ford and Bakken/Three Forks expands, as we further modify completion techniques that boost overall well productivity and economics," Thomas said.

EOG Increases Company-wide Production Growth Estimates

Production guidance in 2013 has been increased again. EOG expects 39% growth in oil production, 17% growth in NGL production and company-wide growth of 9%. That`s up from initial estimates of 28% crude oil growth, 10% NGL growth, and just 4% company-wide growth at the beginning of the year.

EOG Resources' Secrets To Success In The Bakken & Other Shale Plays

Oil Rail Car Image
Oil Rail Car Image

EOG Resources opened North Dakota to the modern oil industry when the company discovered the Parshall Field in 2006. The company led the shift to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in oil plays like the Bakken and Eagle Ford. Forbes published an interesting article on the company in July.

EOG invested in areas that weren't common for oil companies just a few years ago.

  • EOG spent $100 million on a rail terminal in 2008
  • EOG invested $200 million in three sand mines and two processing facilities in Wisconsin

EOG increased the value of oil the company was producing by bypassing pipeline choke points.

Sand mines in Wisconsin save the company an average of $500,000 per well. Self-sourced sand saves the company as much as $300 million per year!

In addition, EOG is using microseismic sensors to understand the reach and effectiveness of the company's well completions. As a result, the company has shifted from focusing on reach in completions to utilizing shorter, but more energy intensive fracks. Shorter frack lengths allow the company to drill wells at closer acreage spacing.

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