Brigham Exploration scores record North Dakota and Montana Bakken shale completions

Austin, Tex.-based Brigham Exploration Co. (NASDAQ: BEXP) said April 13 that its Sorenson 29-32 #2H Bakken well produced a North Dakota Bakken record 5,330 barrels of oil equivalent during its early 24-hour peak flow-back period. In addition, the company’s Johnson 30-19 #1H Bakken well, located in Richland County, Montana, produced a Montana Bakken record early 24-hour peak flow back rate of about 2,962 barrels of oil equivalent.

Brigham also announced the completion of four additional North Dakota Bakken wells and, as a result, has completed 56 consecutive long lateral high frac stage wells in North Dakota at an average early 24-hour peak flow-back rate of about 2,884 barrels of oil equivalent.

Brigham’s Sorenson 29-32 #2H produced a North Dakota Bakken record 5,330 barrels of oil equivalent (4,661 barrels of oil and 4.01 MMcf of natural gas) during its early 24-hour peak flow back period. The Sorenson 29-32 #2H, which is located in Brigham’s Ross project area in Mountrail County, North Dakota, supplants Brigham’s Sorenson 29-32 #1H as the record initial rate Bakken well.

To date, based on publically available information, Brigham has the four highest initial rate Bakken wells and seven of the top 10 initial rate Bakken wells in the Williston Basin. The Sorenson 29-32 #2H represents Brigham's first infill well completion in its Ross project area and was drilled, on average, approximately 1,720 feet from the Sorenson 29-32 #1H well, which was completed in April 2010. The Sorenson 29-32 #2H was completed with 38 frac stages.

The Sorenson 29-32 #2H and the Cvancara 20-17 #1H, which produced about 4,402 barrels of oil equivalent during its early 24-hour peak flow back period, were the first wells drilled and completed using Brigham’s smart pad design. The smart pad design allows wells to be drilled from the same pad and simultaneously fracture stimulated. Brigham estimates that around 10% to 20% in cost savings can be achieved with implementation of smart pad drilling and completion techniques.

Brigham said the Johnson 30-19 #1H in Richland County produced about 2,962 barrels of oil equivalent (2,684 barrels of oil and 1.67 MMcf of natural gas) during its early 24-hour peak flow back period. The well was completed with 36 fracture stimulation stages, and based on publically available information, is the record initial rate Bakken well in Montana.

Brigham has now completed 56 consecutive long lateral high frac stage wells in North Dakota with an average early 24-hour peak flow back rate of around 2,884 barrels of oil equivalent.

Brigham’s accelerated development of its acreage in North Dakota and Montana is proceeding with four operated rigs drilling in Rough Rider, two operated rigs drilling in Ross, and one operated rig drilling in Montana. Brigham’s eighth dedicated operated rig is expected to arrive in May.

Bud Brigham, chairman, president, and CEO, commented: “Our team continues to deliver outstanding operational results with record-setting Bakken wells in North Dakota and Montana. The impressive results of the Sorenson 29-32 #2H, which was drilled approximately one year after the Sorenson 29-32 #1H, clearly demonstrates the substantial net asset value attributable to our infill drilling locations.”

He continued, “The extremely positive results of our Johnson 30-19 #1H, which is located in Richland County, further de-risks part of our Montana acreage for the Bakken. Our de-risking should continue based on the results of the fracture stimulation of the Voss 21-11H, which is expected to occur later this month. Plans are to continue to work towards de-risking larger parts of our Montana acreage by drilling a total of four additional wells over the next several months.”

Brigham concluded, “Importantly, our acceleration in the Williston Basin continues to be on schedule as we expect to begin operating two fully dedicated frac crews this month and expect our next dedicated operated rig to arrive in May. Our core acreage position combined with our operational expertise and accelerated development is anticipated to set us up for a very positive 2011 in terms of net asset value growth. Looking ahead, given the remarkably consistent results associated with our 56 consecutive long lateral high frac stage completions in North Dakota, it’s likely that we will no longer release individual well early 24-hour peak rates, except in certain circumstances, such as where results provide specific information with respect to de-risking our non-core acreage and the resulting net asset value accretion.”

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