• 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

    Fitch comments on Kinder Morgan acquisition of Hiland Partners

    Jan 23, 2015

    Fitch Ratings expects the acquisition of Hiland Partners by Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI; IDR: 'BBB-'/Stable Outlook) to be credit neutral. The transaction, valued at $3 billion including the assumption of roughly $1 billion of Hiland debt, provides KMI with increased access to quality assets and a good platform for growth in the Bakken shale region.

    Phillips 66 Partners closes Bakken joint venture agreements

    Jan 22, 2015

    The joint ventures between Phillips 66 Partners LP and Paradigm Energy Partners to develop midstream logistics infrastructure in the Bakken region have been formed and governance agreements completed.

    Kinder Morgan to acquire midstream position in Bakken shale play

    Jan 22, 2015

    Kinder Morgan Inc. has a definitive agreement whereby KMI will acquire Hiland Partners from its founder, Harold Hamm, and certain Hamm family trusts, for a total purchase price of $3 billion, including the assumption of debt.

    Buckhorn appoints Wind as CFO

    Jan 20, 2015

    Buckhorn Energy Services LLC has appointed Victor A. Wind as CFO, effective Jan. 1.  

    Pennine appoints Garden as new CEO

    Jan 19, 2015

    Pennine Petroleum Corp. (TSX Venture: PNN) has appointed John Garden as the corporation’s new CEO.

    Bakken and Eagle Ford production up 1.6% in December 2014

    Jan 16, 2015

    Oil production from the Bakken shale play in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford shale play in Texas increased 45,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 1.6%, in December 2014, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts, a global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals, and agriculture information.

    SM Energy to exit US Mid-Continent

    Jan 7, 2015

    SM Energy Co. is beginning a process to sell its assets in the Arkoma Basin of Oklahoma and in the Arklatex area of East Texas and Northern Louisiana.

    US natural gas production in December hits new record

    Jan 7, 2015

    Natural gas production in the US Lower 48 increased by 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) during  December 2014, according to Bentek Energy, the Platts oil and gas analytics unit.

    American Eagle Energy to suspend drilling until oil prices improve

    Jan 2, 2015

    American Eagle Energy Corp. reports that, given plummeting crude oil prices, the company has suspended its 2015 operated drilling budget and does not anticipate resuming drilling operations until crude oil prices improve.

    Final terms of Bakken pipeline project approved

    Dec 29, 2014

    Energy Transfer Partners LP and Energy Transfer Equity LP have reported that the conflicts committees and the boards of directors of ETP and ETE have approved the final terms of the previously announced transaction involving the Bakken pipeline project and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP general partner interest and incentive distribution rights exchange.

    Continental makes another sharp capex cut

    Dec 23, 2014

    As commodity price drops continue to put pressure on cash flow for numerous oil and gas companies, Continental Resources expects core assets in the Bakken and SCOOP plays to drive production growth despite another cut to the company's 2015 capital program.

    Belle Fourche and Bridger to begin open season for pipeline project

    Dec 22, 2014

    Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. and Bridger Pipeline LLC (collectively, the Pipelines) intend to hold an open season in January 2015 to obtain volume commitments to support expansions of their common carrier pipeline systems in order to substantially increase their capacity to transport crude petroleum from the Bakken shale play and the Powder River Basin to Guernsey, Wyoming.


    Oilfield Service Briefs

    Dec 17, 2014

    Oil and gas services

    Dec 17, 2014

    Gaining the upper hand when purchasing transportation and storage services

    Wood Group acquires Swaggart Brothers

    Dec 15, 2014

    Wood Group has acquired Swaggart Brothers – an Oregon-based provider of civil construction and fabrication services to the US oil and gas, industrial, and agricultural sectors – for an initial consideration of $36.3 million with a further payment in 2017 based on future performance.

    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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