Continental Resources: Bakken Hits 1-Billion Barrel Mark

Continental 2013 Production
Continental 2013 Production

Citing IHS data, Continental Resources revealed 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.

Two-thirds of the total was produced in the last three years according to Continental.

This milestone validates the immense potential of the Bakken field and development is just beginning,” said Jack Stark, Senior Vice President of Exploration for Continental. “Two-thirds of this oil was produced in the last three years. This is something our country can celebrate as the oil and natural gas industry continues to create jobs, grow our economy and secure America’s energy future.

Continental is the largest producer, driller and leaseholder in the Bakken field. In 2013, the company's proved reserves stretched to more than 1 Billion boe, with an estimated value of more than $20 billion. 

Read more: Continentals Proved Reserves in Bakken Valued at $14.5 Billion - 2013

The Bakken is anticipated to continue achieving milestones. In 2014, oil production is expected to reach the 1 million b/d mark, and grow markedly beyond that figure over the next 5 – 6 years.

According to the oil and gas research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, the Bakken and Three Forks plays hold close to $118 billion in value. Despite infrastructure concerns, estimates indicate operators will recover more than 20 billion bbls of oil reserves throughout the life of the play.


Emerald Oil Increases Bakken Production by 80% in 2013

Emerald Acreage Map
Emerald Acreage Map

Emerald's total production increased by 80% in 2013 over 2012 from ~935 boe/d to ~1690 boe/d. The production increase was attributable to the addition of 10.58 net operated Bakken and Three Forks wells in 2013.

Since the beginning of 2013, the company has acquired ~67,700 net acres. The most recent Bakken acreage acquisition took place in January, and cost Emerald $74.6 million.

Read more: Emerald Acquires Acreage in the Williston Basin for $74.6 Million

Emerald's Bakken Fourth-Quarter Production and 2013 Reserves

Emerald had a strong fourth-quarter in the Bakken, with average daily production of 2,430 boe/d.

McAndrew Rudisill, Emerald’s CEO, stated, “2013 was a transformational year for Emerald. We successfully drilled and completed multiple Middle Bakken and Three Forks wells, tripled our operated acreage position and monetized the majority of our non-operated assets.

t the end of 2013, Emerald had total proved reserves of ~13.2 mmboe, all of which were located in the Williston Basin. Emerald's proved reserves increased approximately 147% during 2013 primarily as a result of our successful operated well program.

Emerald's Bakken 2014 Drilling and Production Strategy

In 2014, Emerald has plans to add another rig to it's drilling program. The company expects to achieve an exit rate of 4,250 boe/d, with an average production rate of 3,550 boe/d.

In a company statement, Rudisill, said, “in 2014, our production will continue to grow as we add a third rig to our drilling program. The third rig is currently moving to location in our Easy Rider focus area and will soon begin drilling, earlier than originally anticipated. Due to the strong performance of our Low Rider Middle Bakken wells and positive indications from our Low Rider Three Forks wells, we are actively reviewing increased downspacing assumptions and raising our stated Low Rider type curve. We are very focused in 2014 on lowering operating expenses and driving greater drilling and completion cost efficiencies.

Emerald plans to add an additional 18.2 net operated wells by the end of 2014.


Enerplus Capital Budget in Bakken - $304 Million - 2014

Enerplus North Dakota Acreage Map
Enerplus North Dakota Acreage Map

Approximately 40% of Enerplus's $760 million capital budget for 2014 will be dedicated to the Bakken and Three Forks. That's about $304 million.

The company expects to grow production by more than 30% in North Dakota in 2014.

Enerplus 2013 Capital Expenditures in Bakken

Read more: Enerplus Sets New Bakken Production Record in Q1

~$308 million of capital spending was in North Dakota, with the majority invested at Fort Berthold. Approximately 70% of company spending in 2013 was directed to crude oil assets.

VP of Operations Raymond Daniels said, “45% of our capital spending was in North Dakota where we are targeting both the Bakken and Three Forks. Our focus was on driving improvements in capital efficiencies through a reduction in drilling costs and improvement in productivity.

Capital spending came in slightly lower in 2013 than the original forecast of $685 million, totaling $681 million.

Enerplus Bakken Reserves

25 mmboe of 2P reserves were added in 2013 from North Dakota properties. The cost of this addition was $19.74 per boe including future development capital.

Total 2P reserves increased by more than 17% year-over-year, driven by additions in the Marcellus and Bakken/Three Forks properties.

Enerplus Bakken Initial Production Rates and Total Production

According to VP of Operations, Raymond Daniels, “our two most recent Bakken wells have been completed using about a thousand tonnes of sand per lateral foot with roughly 40 frac stages. In their first 30 days these wells have produced a record of roughly 4,000 to 8,000 barrels of oil each.

Enerplus total production grew in the fourth-quarter to 94,167 boe/d, which is up 7% from the third-quarter. Production for 2013 was 89,800 boe/d. That's up 9%.

Enerplus Highlights

  • 40% of Enerplus's $760 million capital budget for 2014 will be dedicated to the Bakken and Three Forks - ~340 million
  • Enerplus expects to grow production by more than 30% in North Dakota in 2014
  • ~$308 million of capital spending was in North Dakota in 2013
  • 25 mmboe of 2P reserves were added in 2013 from North Dakota properties
  • Enerplus total production grew in the fourth-quarter to 94,167 boe/d
  • Production for 2013 was 89,800 boe/d. That's up 9%


QEP Resources South Antelope Bakken Properties Valued at $2.8 Billion at Year-end 2013

QEP Resources Bakken Three Forks Acreage Map
QEP Resources Bakken Three Forks Acreage Map

QEP Resources acquired its South Antelope Properties in the fall of 2012 for ~$1.4 billion.

Since the acquisition, QEP's value estimate for those properties has increased to $2.8 billion based on probable reserve estimates.

Read more: QEP - Helis Bakken Deal Agreed for 27,600 Acres for $1.4 Billion

QEP Bakken South Antelope Properties

Since the acquisition of its South Antelope properties, QEP has lowered its development costs and increased production.

Current gross completed well costs have decreased by more than $1 million from estimated costs at the time of acquisition.

In spite of delays due to downstream and weather-related issues, current South Antelope oil production grew in 2013.

Our South Antelope acquisition is a great example of our sound and stringent capital allocation process,” commented Stanley. “We are pleased to see that the assumptions made in our South Antelope acquisition have proven to be accurate and conservative.

QEP Production and Proved Reserves for 2013

QEP total equivalent production in 2013 was 309 bcfe and oil production was 10.2 million bbl. Natural gas and NGL production was 218.9 bcf and 4.8 million bbl respectively.

2013 year end total proved reserves were 2.55 tcf of natural gas, 148.6 million bbl of crude oil and 102.6 million bbl of NGL. That's a 37% increase of total proved reserves at year end 2013 compared to 2012.

At the end of 2013, QEP's Williston Basin proved reserves were estimated at 797.5 bcfe or ~140 million boe.


  • QEP Resources South Antelope property valued at $2.8 billion
  • QEP total equivalent production in 2013 was 309 bcfe and oil production was 10.2 million bbl
  • Proved crude oil reserves at 149 million barrels. Up 25% from prior year
  • 37% increase in total proved reserves
  • Williston Basin contributed more than 140 million boe in reserves

* Extensions and Discoveries: As to any period, the increases to proved reserves from all sources other than the acquisition of proved properties or revisions of previous estimates.


Oasis Petroleum's Bakken Deals Grow Acreage Position 50% - $1.5 Billion

Oasis Petroleum Bakken Acreage Map - Acquisition Included
Oasis Petroleum Bakken Acreage Map - Acquisition Included

Oasis Petroleum has agreed to acquire 161,000 acres prospective for the Bakken in the Williston Basin for a total of $1.515 billion. In four separate deals, the company's position grows from 331,000 to 492,000 net acres.

The deals included production of 9,300 boe/d, so total volumes just grew from 33,700 boe/d to 43,000 boe/d.

Oasis currently operates 11 rigs in the region and the sellers operate two. Oasis expects to continue a similar level of activity (13 rigs) through the end of the year and will ramp up to running 15-16 rigs by the end of 2014.

"These acquisitions add high quality acreage in the heart of the Bakken and Three Forks play, providing incremental scale to our premier position in the Williston Basin," said Thomas B. Nusz, Oasis' CEO. "As we enter full development mode, our size and scale will continue to drive growth, efficiencies and shareholder value."

Other notable facts related to Oasis Petroleum's position include:

  • Operational control held flat at 91% of acreage with the acquisition
  • Operated working interest fell from 69% to 68%
  • Estimated number of spacing units grew from 280 to 399
  • Operated drilling inventory grew from 2,020 gross (1,532 net) to 2,847 (2,150 net) wells
  • Estimated proved reserves grew from 169.9 mmboe (89% oil) to 215.6 mmboe (87% oil)

Over 90% of the value of the deal is attributed to acreage in the western portion of the company's target area. Approximately $1.45 billion was spent acquiring 9,000 boe/d and 136,000 net acres west of the Nesson Anticline; the remainder was attributed to 300 boe/d from 25,000 net acres to the east.