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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

    American Midstream acquires Costar Midstream

    Oct 15, 2014

    American Midstream Partners LP has acquired Costar Midstream LLC from Energy Spectrum Partners VI LP and Costar management for $470 million.

    ARM Midstream to build crude oil gathering system in Bakken/Three Forks play

    Oct 14, 2014

    ARM Midstream, a wholly owned subsidiary of Asset Risk Management (ARM), intends to construct a crude oil gathering system in the Bakken shale gas play and underlying Three Forks formation.

    September US natural gas production up 7.4%, breaking record

    Oct 9, 2014

    Natural gas production in the US Lower 48 states averaged 69.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in September, breaking its previous monthly average high for the ninth consecutive month, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

    Bakken update

    Oct 9, 2014

    Play is expected to produce 1.2MMboe in 2014

    Fitch publishes 'Bakken Shale Report'

    Oct 8, 2014

    Fitch Ratings has published its “Bakken Shale Report.” The report provides an analysis of themes in the Bakken shale play, including crude market dynamics and the potential for new pipelines out of the region.

    Thigpen partners with Intervale and Recapture Solutions

    Oct 8, 2014

    Thigpen Energy has partnered with Intervale Capital, which will provide growth capital to support Thigpen's fleet and geographic expansion. Thigpen will work with Recapture Solutions, another portfolio company of Intervale, to monetize and utilize stranded flare gas.

    NRP to acquire additional Williston Basin interests

    Oct 7, 2014

    Natural Resource Partners LP has signed a definitive agreement to acquire non-operated working interests in oil and gas properties located in the Bakken/Three Forks play of the Williston Basin from an affiliate of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. for $340 million. 

    NRP begins private offering of senior notes

    Oct 7, 2014

    Natural Resource Partners LP intends to offer, subject to market conditions, $125 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2018 in a private placement to eligible purchasers.

    Intertek expands Bakken shale oil laboratory operations

    Oct 6, 2014

    Intertek has expanded its North Dakota shale oil and gas service capabilities with a new 10,000-square-foot laboratory in Bismarck, North Dakota.

    Northern opens Denver office, hires executive vice president of land

    Oct 3, 2014

    Northern Oil and Gas Inc. has opened a regional office in Denver, Colorado, and has hired Darrell Finneman as executive vice president, Land.

    Northern increases borrowing base under its revolving credit facility

    Oct 2, 2014

    Northern Oil and Gas Inc. have secured an increase to the company’s borrowing base under its revolving credit facility agreement with its bank syndicate. 

    Oasis Petroleum reports redetermination of borrowing base

    Oct 2, 2014

    Oasis Petroleum Inc. reports that the lenders under its revolving credit agreement have completed their regular semi-annual redetermination of the borrowing base, resulting in an increase to the borrowing base from $1,750 million to $2,000 million. However, the company elected to limit the lenders' aggregate commitment to $1,500 million. 

    Tallgrass Pony Express plans pipeline system expansion

    Sep 26, 2014

    Tallgrass Pony Express Pipeline LLC is pursuing a potential expansion of its crude oil pipeline system to transport growing production in areas around its existing system receipt points.

    Macoma Capital invests in Bakken formation

    Sep 25, 2014

    Macoma Capital Group, a New York-based investment firm, has made its largest investment in an energy company focused on the acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas properties in the Williston Basin, one of the premier shale plays in the Bakken.

    ETP begins binding expansion open season for Bakken pipeline transport

    Sep 23, 2014

    Energy Transfer Partners LP has launched a binding expansion open season to assess additional interest in transportation service on the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline.

    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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