• 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.

    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

    Wood Mackenzie: US Lower 48 oil economics still robust

    Mar 24, 2015

    Wood Mackenzie's breakeven analysis of more than 800 individual assets in the US Lower 48 reveals dramatic variations in the viability of company asset bases and sub-plays. While the majority of production is not at risk in the long term, cash flow and funding limitations could impact activity.


    Bakken and Eagle Ford shale oil production flat in February

    Mar 19, 2015

    In February, shale oil production in the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays increased by 19,000 barrels per day, or 1%, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts.

    Will the Bakken boom go bust?

    Mar 11, 2015

    North Dakota shale players feeling the squeeze from weak oil prices and safety regulations

    PAA acquires Williston Basin crude oil terminal under construction

    Mar 2, 2015

    Plains All American Pipeline LP has acquired Legion Terminals LLC, which owns a crude oil terminal under construction in Johnson’s Corner, McKenzie County, North Dakota. The terminal, which is expected to be in service in the third quarter of 2015, will serve as a crude oil logistics hub in the Williston Basin.

    Marathon to further reduce drilling budget

    Feb 20, 2015

    After reporting an operating loss in the final quarter of 2014, Marathon Oil Corp. plans to further reduce its drilling budget, the company said Wednesday.

    Republic Services acquires Tervita

    Feb 18, 2015

    Republic Services Inc. has completed its acquisition of Tervita LLC, an environmental waste solutions provider serving oil and natural gas producers in the US.

    Kinder Morgan closes $3 billion Hiland acquisition

    Feb 16, 2015

    Kinder Morgan Inc. has closed its acquisition of Hiland Partners for a total purchase price of $3 billion, including the assumption of $1 billion of debt.

    GCA: With oil price crash, US production could be 2 Mb/d lower by end of 2016

    Feb 10, 2015

    New analysis by Gaffney, Cline & Associates has suggested that, by the end of 2016, US production could be some 2 million barrels per day lower than where it would have been without the oil price crash.

    WoodMac: 2015 upstream CAPEX to surpass $4B in SCOOP core

    Feb 10, 2015

    Even in the current price environment, the best producing parts of the South-Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP) are on par with the Eagle Ford and Bakken shale plays, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest key play analysis.

    Buckhorn closes $150 million credit facility

    Feb 6, 2015

    Buckhorn Energy Services LLC has secured a $150 million senior secured revolving credit facility with an uncommitted provision for expansion to $175 million. 

    Bakken crude transport options after the crash

    Feb 5, 2015

    The combination of crashing crude prices and freight costs for long distance transport to refinery markets is tightening pressure on Bakken crude producer break-even economics. There is plenty of more expensive rail transportation capacity and not enough cheaper pipeline capacity to carry all production to market. Here, a review of shifts in North Dakota crude transport options.

    Fitch: Gas rig uptick illustrates capital allocation optionality

    Jan 30, 2015

    The recent uptick in gas-directed rigs illustrates the capital allocation optionality and potential value available to some North American exploration and production companies, according to Fitch Ratings.

    GE and Statoil collaborate to develop sustainable energy solutions

    Jan 29, 2015

    GE and Statoil are collaborating to accelerate the development of more environmentally and economically sustainable energy solutions to help fuel the future.

    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.

    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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