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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.

    Bakken Shale Map

    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 News

    Hess completes sale, establishes Bakken midstream JV

    Jul 2, 2015

    Hess Corp. has completed the sale of a 50% interest in its Bakken midstream assets to Global Infrastructure Partners for cash consideration of $2.675 billion.

    Primus Green Energy offers small-scale STG+ solution for flared gas applications

    Jun 30, 2015

    Primus Green Energy Inc., a gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology development company that transforms methane and other natural gas and oilfield feedstocks into end products including transportation fuels, methanol, and diluent, has developed a small-scale GTL solution for flared gas applications using the company’s proprietary STG+ technology.  

    WPX Energy increases activity and EURs in Williston Basin

    Jun 26, 2015

    WPX Energy plans to increase its activity in the Williston Basin during the second half of 2015 by resuming completions and increasing its rig count from one to three before year-end.

    Magnum Hunter to sell interest in Eureka Hunter pipeline, pay down debt

    Jun 25, 2015

    Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. intends to monetize 100% of its 45.53% interest in the Eureka Hunter pipeline, according to commentary from Wunderlich Securities Inc.

    IHS: Wolfcamp Delaware play offers promise as it matures

    Jun 24, 2015

    Located in the western portion of the Permian Basin, which straddles the Texas-New Mexico border, the Wolfcamp Delaware play is an emerging hydrocarbon play that, according to new analysis from IHS, has the economic potential to sustain select operators through this period of distressed oil prices. However, like most adolescents, IHS says that this play is a story of promise, potential, and testing limits.

    Little change in May for Eagle Ford and Bakken production

    Jun 18, 2015

    Oil production from key shale formations in North Dakota and Texas was little changed in May vs. April, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

    GIP II and Hess form midstream Bakken JV

    Jun 15, 2015

    Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) says that its second fund, Global Infrastructure Partners II, and affiliated funds, have agreed to enter into a strategic joint venture with Hess Corp. through the acquisition of a 50% interest in Hess Infrastructure Partners, the owner of Hess’s midstream crude oil and natural gas infrastructure assets located primarily in the Bakken shale play.

    Hess to sell interest in Bakken midstream assets and form new JV

    Jun 11, 2015

    Hess Corp. has agreed to sell a 50% interest in its Bakken midstream assets to Global Infrastructure Partners for cash consideration of $2.675 billion. Hess and Global Infrastructure Partners will create a premier midstream joint venture – Hess Infrastructure Partners.

    UND research reveals truth behind satellite images of Bakken flares

    Jun 10, 2015

    Researchers from the University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Science's Department of Earth System Science and Policy have released the findings of a recent report conducted to take a closer look at satellite images of associated gas (i.e., flaring) in the North Dakota Bakken formation.


    Measuring unconventional well performance

    Jun 8, 2015

    Multiple parameters should be considered

    Bakken, Eagle Ford production flat in April

    Jun 1, 2015

    Oil production from key shale formations in North Dakota and Texas were mostly flat in April as compared to March, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

    Synergy Resources appoints Peterson as president

    May 29, 2015

    Lynn Peterson has joined Synergy Resources Corp. as president of the company. 

    American Midstream launches open season for Bakken gathering system

    May 26, 2015

    American Midstream Partners LP confirms that American Midstream Bakken LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Partnership, is conducting a binding open season for a proposed 50-mile Bakken crude oil gathering and transportation system in the core of McKenzie County, North Dakota (the Bakken System), to transport up to 40,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of crude oil for delivery to major intrastate and interstate pipeline systems beginning in June.

    Enable Midstream completes initial phase of gathering system in Bakken

    May 22, 2015

    Enable Midstream Partners LP says that the first phase of its Nesson Crude & Produced Water Gathering System is operational. The pipeline serves wells located in Williams and Mountrail counties of North Dakota, in the Bakken shale play.

    GlobalData: Core Bakken assets remain economical despite low oil prices

    May 21, 2015

    While the 12 counties with Bakken production between North Dakota and Montana have lost the majority of their horizontal rigs over the last eight months, core areas of the shale play remain attractive, especially as oil prices creep toward $70 per barrel, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

    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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