Whiting Expands Bakken Position & Tests New Completion Designs in the Third Quarter

Whiting Petroleum Bakken Acquisition Acreage Map - August 2013
Whiting Petroleum Bakken Acquisition Acreage Map - August 2013

Whiting Petroleum acquired additional Bakken acreage in North Dakota and Montana, and tested new completion designs in the third quarter.

Whiting is using cemented liners and higher sand volumes in the Missouri Breaks area. One well completed in August using this method and a slick water frack came online at rates approximately 75% better than an offset well.

The method was used again in the Hidden Bench area and yielded results almost 1,000 boe/d better than an offset plug and perf completion.

Watch for Whiting to test cemented liners across much of its acreage. If initial results are any indication, future wells could perform as much as 50% better than previously thought.

This is an exciting time for Whiting and our shareholders. During the third quarter, we added 17,282 net acres to our Hidden Bench and Missouri Breaks prospect areas and 32,419 net acres to our Redtail Niobrara prospect. Our new completion design using cemented liners and plug and perf technology is working throughout the Williston Basin. Initial results from our higher density drilling program at our Pronghorn prospect are very encouraging, and we expect results from our Sanish field and Hidden Bench prospect higher density drilling programs in the fourth quarter.
— James J. Volker, CEO

Also, downspacing results in the Sanish Field are expected in the fourth quarter. If the wells prove commercial, Whiting could add an additional ~190 gross drilling locations.

Whiting produced a total of 92,750 boe/d in the third quarter with 87% attributable to crude oil and NGLs. Approximately 81% of Whiting's production is attributable to the company's Rockies Region, where the Bakken and Three Forks drive growth.

Read the company's third quarter earnings release at whiting.com

Bakken Banks See "Exceptional" Performance Compared To Other Shale Areas

Bank Deposits Rising
Bank Deposits Rising

Banks in Western North Dakota are doing better than their counterparts in other shale plays. That's the primary discovery in a report released by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.

Bakken institutions have seen growth in deposits, construction, land development loans, and commercial & industrial loans. The same can be said for banks in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas, but the increases are not as large as those experienced in the Bakken.

A few takeaways from the report include:

  • Deposits at banks in the Bakken region grew 49% from 2010 to 2012. That compares growth in Louisiana of 39% from 2008-2010
  • Construction & land development loans secured by real estate have doubled in the past year compared to areas in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania that have seen 29% and 20% growth, respectively
  • Profitability has also been impacted. The return on average assets has increased to 1.46% compared to just 0.92% in the rest of the state

The only real problem with all the growth might be finding qualified employees. There such a high demand in the oilfield that banks have a hard time finding qualified people.

Read the full report at minneapolisfed.org