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 Barnett, Haynesville, Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Woodford, Bakken, Niobrara, 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.

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

US capital expenditure on refining capacity additions to reach $4B by 2020

Jul 22, 2014

The US is forecast to spend approximately $4 billion on refining capacity expansion projects between 2014 and 2020, enabling the country to process its increasing volumes of unconventional resource production, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Lonestar Resources

Jul 18, 2014

Building an asset of consequence in the Eagle Ford

ND Bakken reaches 1MMboe milestone

Jul 18, 2014

Straddling the border between the US and Canada, the oily Bakken shale currently sits atop the list of most revered unconventional resource plays. Recent reserves estimates and production milestones highlight the play's attraction.

Unconventional play upside potential

Jul 18, 2014

The most promising growth may lie in the Permian

Whiting Petroleum to acquire Kodiak for $6B

Jul 14, 2014

In a deal that will create the largest Bakken/Three Forks producer, Whiting Petroleum Corp. has agreed to acquire Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. in an all-stock transaction valued at $6 billion.

Triangle Petroleum to offer $350M senior notes

Jul 10, 2014

Triangle Petroleum Corp. reports that Triangle USA Petroleum Corp., the company's wholly owned E&P subsidiary, intends to offer $350 million in aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2022 in a private placement to eligible investors.

Univar opens new oil & gas facility in North Dakota

Jul 5, 2014

Univar Inc., a global chemical distributor of industrial and specialty chemicals and related chemistry services, has opened a new, permanent facility in Dickinson, North Dakota, to support its oil and gas business in the Williston Basin.

SDOGA names Martin as executive director

Jun 30, 2014

The South Dakota Oil and Gas Association has named Adam Martin as executive director for the organization. 

Costar Bakken begins binding open season for pipeline construction

Jun 16, 2014

Costar Bakken LLC is conducting a binding open season for a proposed gathering system in McKenzie County, North Dakota. Upon the successful completion of the open season process, Costar will immediately begin construction of the pipeline and associated facilities.

DW comments on North American unconventional drilling success

Jun 16, 2014

Douglas-Westwood analysts have provided commentary on North American unconventional drilling success.

Summit updates on new Bakken shale projects

Jun 12, 2014

Summit Midstream Partners LLC has provided a commercial update for its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Meadowlark Midstream Co. LLC, and announced the development of a new oil, gas, and water gathering system by its new, wholly owned operating subsidiary, Tioga Midstream LLC. 

Caliber names Reed as president and CEO

Jun 11, 2014

Caliber Midstream Partners LP has appointed R. Poe Reed as president and CEO, effective June 9. He will be based at company headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

Cost-effective completions

Jun 9, 2014

In early 2006, the oil and gas industry soared to never-explored heights and profitability.

Are we still in a recession?

Jun 9, 2014

The New York Times recently ran an article on its website with the headline: "People Think We're in a Recession. Don't Blame Them." That's what I want to focus on in this month's column.

Bentek Energy: US natural gas output rose 0.6% in May

Jun 4, 2014

US exploration and production companies were at full throttle in May, producing 67.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas in the Lower 48 states, according to the latest estimates from Bentek Energy, an oil and natural gas analytics and forecasting unit of Platts. 

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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