• 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.

    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

    Abraxas adds to Bakken/Three Forks interest, reaffirms borrowing base

    May 1, 2015

    Abraxas Petroleum Corp. has acquired an additional Bakken/Three Forks interest and has reaffirmed its borrowing base.

    East Valley Industrial Park to construct Bakken unit train logistics hub

    May 1, 2015

    East Valley Industrial Park LLC has received first round funding for the East Valley Rail Terminal located east of Williston, North Dakota. Contracts have been let for mainline turnout installation and site construction, beginning this summer. Initial operations are scheduled for December.

    Statoil awards Ferus with CO2 service contract in North Dakota

    Apr 23, 2015

    Statoil has awarded a carbon-dioxide (CO2) supply and service agreement to Denver, Colorado-based Ferus LP, which provides energized fluids (liquid CO2 and liquid nitrogen) to the North American oil and gas industry.

    Enable Midstream completes Bakken crude oil gathering system

    Apr 21, 2015

    Enable Midstream Partners LP’s first crude oil and produced water gathering system in North Dakota became fully operational on April 20.

    Production in Bakken, Eagle Ford rose 1% in March

    Apr 21, 2015

    Oil production from shale formations in North Dakota and Texas increased by 17,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 1%, in March vs. February, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

    EIA: US shale production set to record first drop in four years

    Apr 14, 2015

    The US Energy Information Administration’s monthly drilling report, released April 13, says that oil production from US shale plays is expected to decline 45,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 4.98 million bpd in May from 5.02 million bpd in April – marking this as the first such monthly decline seen in over four years.

    GreenHunter Resources names Pagen as VP, business development

    Apr 14, 2015

    GreenHunter Resources Inc., a diversified water resource, waste management, environmental services, and hydrocarbon marketing company specializing in unconventional oil and natural gas shale resource plays, has appointed Melissa Pagen as vice president of business development, effective April 15.

    Northern reaffirms borrowing base at $550M

    Apr 14, 2015

    Northern Oil and Gas Inc.'s bank syndicate group has reaffirmed and maintained the existing $550 million borrowing base under Northern's revolving credit facility during the semi-annual redetermination period. 

    Gatwick oil discovery estimates wildly optimistic, says GlobalData analyst

    Apr 14, 2015

    The recent announcement by exploration firm UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) that there could be up to 100 billion barrels of oil onshore beneath the South of England area, following its discovery at a well near Gatwick airport, is wildly optimistic, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

    Lots of talk but little action except for private equity and Canada

    Apr 10, 2015

    PLS reports that the upstream deal markets remain anemic as oil futures continue to search for a bottom. F

    The price of crude, the cost of data

    Apr 10, 2015

    Reducing data costs while improving data utilization will result in a dramatically reduced cost structure

    Buckhorn appoints Kelloff as VP of operations

    Apr 2, 2015

    Buckhorn Energy Services LLC has appointed Kash Kelloff as vice president of operations, effective March 9. He will lead Buckhorn's field operations and facilities providing solid waste disposal, saltwater disposal, and produced water gathering systems.

    Wood Mackenzie: US Lower 48 oil economics still robust

    Mar 24, 2015

    Wood Mackenzie's breakeven analysis of more than 800 individual assets in the US Lower 48 reveals dramatic variations in the viability of company asset bases and sub-plays. While the majority of production is not at risk in the long term, cash flow and funding limitations could impact activity.


    Bakken and Eagle Ford shale oil production flat in February

    Mar 19, 2015

    In February, shale oil production in the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays increased by 19,000 barrels per day, or 1%, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

    Will the Bakken boom go bust?

    Mar 11, 2015

    North Dakota shale players feeling the squeeze from weak oil prices and safety regulations

    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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