• 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.

    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

    North American shale update

    Nov 17, 2014

    Production set to reach 15 MMboe/d in 2015

    NRP acquires additional Williston Basin interests

    Nov 14, 2014

    Natural Resource Partners LP has completed the acquisition of non-operated working interests in oil and gas properties in the Bakken/Three Forks play of the Williston Basin from an affiliate of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. for $339 million. 

    NCS Energy Services sets completion records in Bakken/Three Forks areas

    Nov 11, 2014

    NCS Energy Services has set two new completion records for its proprietary multistage unlimited coiled-tubing completion technology. The wells were completed for an independent operator in McKenzie County, North Dakota.

    GCA: Falling oil price to have uneven effect on US unconventional plays

    Nov 11, 2014

    Falling oil prices will have an uneven effect across US unconventional plays based on the qualities of reservoirs within any given play, Gaffney Cline & Associates said in a recent report, noting there exists a complex relationship between the pace of shale production and falling futures prices for light, sweet crude oil.

    Halcón cutting number of drilling rigs due to slide in oil prices

    Nov 11, 2014

    Halcón Resources Corp. is cutting nearly half the rigs it originally planned to operate next year due to the more than 25% slide in crude oil prices.

    Aux Sable reports $130 million expansion

    Nov 3, 2014

    Aux Sable Liquid Products LP has announced a US$130 million growth project that will increase the fractionation capacity of the company's extraction and fractionation facilities in Channahon, Illinois, by approximately 24,500 barrels per day.

    BOE Midstream’s flagship crude-by-rail facility achieves major milestone

    Nov 3, 2014

    On Aug. 21, Denver, Colorado-based midstream energy company BOE Midstream loaded and shipped the 1,000th unit train from its Bakken Oil Express Rail Terminal in Dickinson, North Dakota.

    ONEOK completes more than $500M in capital-growth projects

    Oct 31, 2014

    ONEOK Partners LP has completed more than $500 million in capital-growth projects, including the Garden Creek III natural gas processing facility, the Bakken NGL Pipeline expansion, and the Niobrara NGL Lateral Pipeline.

    ETE, ETP, Phillips 66 become JV partners to build Bakken pipelines

    Oct 29, 2014

    Energy Transfer Equity LP, Energy Transfer Partners LP (collectively, “Energy Transfer”), and Phillips 66 have formed two joint ventures to develop the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline projects.

    Continental Resources CEO says company not affected yet by falling oil prices

    Oct 27, 2014

    US oil prices would have to fall another 20% or so before an American shale oil producer, Continental Resources, would cut back significantly on its operations, the company’s CEO told Platts on Oct. 26.

    Enterprise extends open season for proposed Bakken-to-Cushing pipeline

    Oct 20, 2014

    Enterprise Products Partners LP reports that the binding open commitment period to determine shipper demand for capacity on a proposed new crude oil pipeline from the Williston Basin of North Dakota to the Cushing hub in Oklahoma has been extended until 5 p.m. CST, Nov. 14.


    Shale oil production from Bakken, Eagle Ford up 2.1% in September

    Oct 20, 2014

    Oil production from shale formations in North Dakota and Texas increased by 55,000 barrels per day (b/d) or 2.1% in September, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.  

    Tesoro Logistics acquires QEP Field Services

    Oct 20, 2014

    Tesoro Logistics LP has executed a definitive agreement to acquire QEP Resources Inc.'s wholly owned natural gas gathering and processing business, QEP Field Services LLC, including its 58% partnership interest in QEP Midstream Partners LP.

    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.

    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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