• Unconventional Oil & Gas

    Shale plays first come to mind when one considers unconventional resources. These unconventional resource plays may yield natural gas, gas condensates, and crude oil. Some of the more noteworthy shale plays in North America include the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Fayetteville, Woodford, Niobrara, Haynesville, Horn River, and Utica formations. Tight gas, coalbed methane, oil sands, and heavy oil are non-shale unconventional resources.


    Eagle Ford | Marcellus | Cline | Permian | Utica | Bakken | Woodbine & Eaglebine

    Bakken Shale

    Bakken Shale ImageThe Bakken shale is primarily an oil play. It straddles the US border with Canada and runs through two states – North Dakota and Montana – and two Canadian provinces – Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The US Geological Survey estimates there are 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil in the Bakken, which would make it the largest oil field in the US outside Alaska. The Bakken is located in the Williston Basin, but not all of the basin includes the Bakken.

    The Sanish-Three Forks area is located below the Bakken shale zone and is potentially another new oil reservoir. Brigham Exploration Co. has been active in this area. Natural gas is also found in some parts of the Bakken. The USGS estimates there is about 2.0 trillion cubic feet of gas and another 150 million barrels of natural gas liquids. Major players in the Bakken include EOG Resources, Continental Resources, and Enerplus Resources.

    Bakken Shale Map

    Bakken Shale News

    Vitesse Energy acquires acreage in Williston Basin

    Sep 17, 2014

    Vitesse Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Leucadia National Corp., reports the acquisition of non-operated oil and gas assets in the Williston Basin from EnerVest Operating LLC.

    Black Ridge increases senior secured credit facility borrowing base

    Sep 12, 2014

    Black Ridge Oil & Gas Inc. has reported an increase to the Cadence Bank NA senior secured credit facility borrowing base to $35 million, a 75% increase from the previous borrowing base of $20 million.   


    Sep 9, 2014

    Enterprise to hold open season for proposed Bakken pipeline

    Sep 5, 2014

    Enterprise Products Partners LP has begun a binding open commitment period to determine shipper demand for capacity on a proposed new pipeline that would originate in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and also serve the Powder River and Denver-Julesburg basins.

    Dakota Gold to develop Bakken crude oil terminal

    Aug 26, 2014

    Dakota Gold Transfer–Plaza LLC plans to develop a crude oil transload facility in Mountrail County, North Dakota. Strategically located on a 350-acre site in the eastern section of the prolific Bakken and Three Forks shale oil producing areas, the Plaza Terminal will provide refiners, marketers and producers with new options for reaching multiple markets across the US and Canada via rail and pipeline.

    Production from Bakken, Eagle Ford rose 3.4% in July

    Aug 25, 2014

    Oil production from shale formations in North Dakota and Texas increased by more than 86,000 barrels per day (b/d) or 3.4% in July, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

    Intervale Capital acquires Recapture Solutions

    Aug 19, 2014

    Intervale Capital has acquired Recapture Solutions LLC from Triten Corp. 

    Dakota Plains, Hiland to link Bakken gathering pipeline to terminal

    Aug 19, 2014

    Dakota Plains Holdings Inc. and Hiland Crude LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hiland Partners LP, jointly report the execution of an interconnection agreement that links Dakota Plains’ Pioneer Rail Terminal in New Town, North Dakota, with Hiland’s Market Center Gathering System crude oil pipeline network.

    Liberty Resources II signs Bakken asset transaction agreement

    Aug 5, 2014

    Liberty Resources II LLC reports the signing of a definitive agreement with Emerald Oil Inc. to exchange a portion of its holdings in North Dakota's Williston Basin for additional acreage in the Williston Basin and $78.4 million in cash.

    Weir Group acquires Metra Equipment

    Aug 1, 2014

    The Weir Group plc has acquired Metra Equipment Inc., a wellhead supplier based in Saskatchewan, Canada, for an undisclosed consideration. The company will be part of Seaboard, a business of Weir Oil & Gas’ Pressure Control Segment.

    ONEOK to construct NG processing facility in North Dakota

    Jul 30, 2014

    ONEOK Partners LP plans to invest $605 million to $785 million between now and the end of the third quarter 2016 to build a new 200 million-cubic-feet-per-day (MMcf/d) natural gas processing facility – the Demicks Lake plant – and related infrastructure in northeast McKenzie County, North Dakota, which will process natural gas produced from the Bakken shale play in the Williston Basin.

    SM Energy acquires Bakken/Three Forks acreage

    Jul 30, 2014

    SM Energy Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire 61,000 net acres in Divide and Williams counties, North Dakota, directly adjacent to its Gooseneck area for $330 million.


    Summit develops Bakken pipeline interconnect, storage assets

    Jul 30, 2014

    Summit Midstream Partners LLC (Summit Investments), the privately held company that owns and controls the general partner of Summit Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: SMLP) and also owns a 56.7% limited partner interest in SMLP, has provided a commercial update for its wholly owned operating subsidiaries, Meadowlark Midstream Co. LLC and Epping Transmission Co. LLC. 

    Geopulse Exploration appoints new management

    Jul 25, 2014

    Geopulse Exploration Inc. reports that, upon the acquisition of Dakota Energy Resources Corp. on December 13, 2013, Craig Osterhoudt was appointed as its president and treasurer, and Mark Childs was appointed as its secretary. Both Osterhoudt and Childs were also appointed as directors, constituting the entire board of directors.

    Belle Fourche and Bridger Pipeline begin open season

    Jul 23, 2014

    Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. and Bridger Pipeline LLC have begun an open season to obtain volume commitments to support coordinated expansions of their Wyoming common carrier pipeline systems in order to substantially increase their capacity to transport crude petroleum from the Powder River Basin to Guernsey, Wyoming.

    ConocoPhillips CEO on shale boom: We've only scratched the surface

    Technology innovation has expanded the world’s energy resource base and the oil and gas industry will continue to working to supply that growth, said ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) chairman and CEO Ryan Lance.

    ©2014 Michael Stravato. Provided courtesy of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University.

    Read the full article here. 

    US tight oil production averaged 3.22 day MMbbl/d in 4Q13, according to US EIA estimates. This level was enough to push overall crude oil production in the US to an average of 7.84 MMbbl/d, more than 10% of total world production, up from 9% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Read more here

    Can the shale gas rBart Willigers, Palantir Solutions Ltd. evolution currently taking place in the US be repeated elsewhere? Although significant volumes of unconventional gas deposits are present in Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK, shale gas developments are running many years behind their counterparts in the US. Skeptics have pointed out that differences in geology, taxes, public acceptance, environmental regulations and other factors in Europe vs. the US make for a tougher environment in which to develop unconventional resources. 

    Read the article by Bart J. A. Willigers of Palantir Solutions Ltd. here

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