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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

    Phillips 66, ETP, and Sunoco Logistics form JV to construct crude oil pipeline

    Jul 31, 2015

    Phillips 66, Energy Transfer Partners LP, and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP have formed a joint venture to construct the Bayou Bridge pipeline that will deliver crude oil from the Phillips 66 and Sunoco Logistics terminals in Nederland, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

    Vinson & Elkins adds partner in Energy Transactions practice

    Jul 31, 2015

    Oil and gas transactional lawyer Bryan Loocke has joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner in its Energy Transactions practice, where he will advise both corporate and private equity clients in the energy sector. He is based in the firm's Houston office.

    US oil drillers increase number of rigs despite price collapse

    Jul 27, 2015

    Baker Hughes data shows that US oil producers gained a total of 19 oil rigs in the past week, with Texas alone seeing a net gain of eight rigs – proving that operations are moving forward, despite current oil price challenges.

    Black Ridge forms equity JV with Merced Capital

    Jul 24, 2015

    Black Ridge Oil & Gas Inc. has signed a definitive agreement with Merced Capital to form an entity that will acquire and develop Williston Basin non-operated assets. 

    UET sells Pawnee Crude Terminal to Arc Logistics Partners

    Jul 23, 2015

    United Energy Trading LLC (UET), together with Hawkeye Midstream LLC, has sold 100% of its subsidiary, UET Midstream LLC (Midstream), to ARC Terminals Holdings LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ARC Logistics Partners LP (ARCX), for a total adjusted sales price of $76.6 million consisting of both cash and ARCX common units.

    EIA forecasts US shale production to fall 91,000 b/d next month

    Jul 14, 2015

    Next month, shale oil production in the US is forecast to decline 91,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 5.36 million b/d, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) latest Drilling Productivity Report.  

    Unconventional resources

    Jul 8, 2015

    Cost deflation and the effect on 2015 breakeven prices 

    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.

    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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