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  • 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.

    SECTIONS

    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

    Oilfield Service Briefs

    Dec 17, 2014

    Oil and gas services

    Dec 17, 2014

    Gaining the upper hand when purchasing transportation and storage services

    Wood Group acquires Swaggart Brothers

    Dec 15, 2014

    Wood Group has acquired Swaggart Brothers – an Oregon-based provider of civil construction and fabrication services to the US oil and gas, industrial, and agricultural sectors – for an initial consideration of $36.3 million with a further payment in 2017 based on future performance.

    Thigpen, Recapture Solutions, FLPS merge to form TRF Energy Solutions

    Dec 10, 2014

    Thigpen Energy, Recapture Solutions, and Flex Leasing Power and Service have merged to become TRF Energy Solutions, which offers a comprehensive suite of natural gas solutions including remote power, natural gas fueling, and flare reduction to customers across the continental US.

    Australia struggling to commercialize unconventional resources

    Dec 10, 2014

    Following disappointing results from recent exploration and production activities, Australia needs, now more than ever, a liquids-rich play to begin widespread and commercial unconventional development in the country, said Jonathan Lacouture, a GlobalData upstream analyst covering Asia-Pacific.

    ConocoPhillips sets 2015 capital budget 20% lower than 2014

    Dec 9, 2014

    Oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips set its 2015 capital budget at $13.5 billion, a 20% decrease from 2014, the company said Monday.

    Cypress acquires Bakken saltwater disposal facility

    Dec 8, 2014

    Cypress Energy Partners LP has acquired a saltwater disposal facility from an affiliate of its North Dakota partner SBG Energy Services LLC for a total cost of $2.6 million in cash.  

    EIA: US proved reserves of oil up fifth straight year; US natural gas proved reserves hit all-time high

    Dec 4, 2014

    For the fifth year in a row, US crude oil proved reserves have increased, while US natural gas proved reserves have increased to an all-time high, according to information released today by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    ONEOK completes acquisition of NGL assets in Permian Basin

    Dec 1, 2014

    ONEOK Partners LP has completed the acquisition of natural gas liquids (NGL) pipelines and related assets from affiliates of Chevron Corp. for $800 million.

    Canary CEO: OPEC Arab Gulf members seem to be aiming at US shale

    Dec 1, 2014

    Dan K. Eberhart, CEO of Canary LLC, an oilfield services company based in Denver, Colorado, has commented on OPEC's decision to continue current production levels of 30 million barrels a day after the cartel's ministers met in Vienna on Nov. 27.

    Phillips 66 Partners and Paradigm form midstream logistics JVs

    Nov 24, 2014

    Phillips 66 Partners LP and Paradigm Energy Partners LLC have executed agreements to form two joint ventures to develop midstream logistics infrastructure in North Dakota. Consisting of two previously announced projects, the Sacagawea Pipeline and Palermo Rail Terminal, the joint ventures are designed to enhance logistical options for crude oil transportation in the Bakken region.

    NGL acquires Bakken water disposal facilities

    Nov 24, 2014

    NGL Energy Partners LP has acquired two saltwater disposal facilities from WaterWorks Corral Creek LLC, and Saltwater Disposal Systems LLC for a total cost of $34.6 million in cash.

    North American shale update

    Nov 17, 2014

    Production set to reach 15 MMboe/d in 2015

    NRP acquires additional Williston Basin interests

    Nov 14, 2014

    Natural Resource Partners LP has completed the acquisition of non-operated working interests in oil and gas properties in the Bakken/Three Forks play of the Williston Basin from an affiliate of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. for $339 million. 

    NCS Energy Services sets completion records in Bakken/Three Forks areas

    Nov 11, 2014

    NCS Energy Services has set two new completion records for its proprietary multistage unlimited coiled-tubing completion technology. The wells were completed for an independent operator in McKenzie County, North Dakota.

    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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