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Alkali Creek Oil Field

Alkali Oil Field

Alkali Creek is going to turn out to be a very, very good field, and Oasis will play a major role in developing it.

Alkali Creek is north of the river, east of Williston, one township west of Whiting’s Sanish oil field. It is right smack in the bull’s eye of the Bakken, at 12:00 o’clock.  It is just east of the Nesson anticline and a huge string of wells that have been drilled starting back in 1951. It is very irregularly shaped, suggesting that it is a very old field. It has about 54 sections and could grow by three or four more but that’s about it, hemmed in on all sides by other oil fields. It is between the Robinson Lake oil field to the east, and the Hofflund field to the west.

So far (March, 2012) results from Alkali Creek wells have been poor to middling, but I think the quality of the wells will improve over time, albeit perhaps not as good as other fields. I think it’s too early to tell. It is interesting to note the disparity in the quality of these wells. Oasis seems to be hitting very good wells (see list below); CLR has its typical wells; and the one Hess well I found was not good at all.

Maybe it will be the Three Forks or the deeper benches of the Three Forks that will surprise us in this field.

Original Post

Just a random look at the wells Oasis has reported so far the first quarter of 2012. This is quite an impressive group of wells. For some of them I’ve included the spud date; test date; and cumulative production to date.

Note #19946: the Spratley well was completed in July, 2011, and by the end of January, 2012 (six months) the well had produced 126,417 bbls of oil.

For newbies, a well is well on its way to being paid for when it hits the 100K bbl milestone, and it will continue to produce for 30 years. Once hooked up to a pipeline, expenses are minimal. The average Bakken well is likely to produce a cumulative 600,000 bbls over the life of the well, but the wells in the best Bakken, as these Oasis wells are, will produce, on average, in excess of one million bbls. They are now planning on a minimum of eight wells in each 1280-acre spacing unit (two sections), and maybe more, if both the middle Bakken and the deeper benches of the Three Forks formation are in play.

Alkali Creek is north of the river, east of Williston, one township west of Whiting’s Sanish oil field. It is right smack in the bull’s eye of the Bakken, at 12:00 o’clock.

Crazy Man Creek is also north of the river, but closer to Williston. It, too, is in the bull’s eye of the Bakken at about 11:00 o’clock.

A description of Bull Butte oil field is here.

A description of Camp oil field is here. At the time I first wrote about the Camp field, this is what I wrote:

There seems to be increasing interest in Camp oil field.

This is why, I bet:

  • 18437, Oasis, 2,887, Angell 5200 31-28H, tested 5/23/10; cumulative 108,000 bbls (wow) — barely a year old; still producing about 5,000 bbls/month (5,000 x $75 –> $375,000/month); the horizontal runs almost directly west to east (somewhat unusual in its orientation)

Camp oil field is southeast of Williston, on the south side of the river, east of Indian Hill and Indian Hills oil field. It is about five miles east of US 85.

Camp is turning out to be an exceptionally good field.


Alger Oil Field


April 27, 2012: another great BEXP well —

  • 21358, 3,863, BEXP, Clifford Bakke 26-35 2H, Mountrail, Alger

April 9, 2012: Hess planning a 12-well pad, but with another six wells per 640-acre spacing unit (1st and 2nd Three Forks benches) it takes it down to 36-acre downspacing.

March 20, 2012: more on that 12-well, $100 million pad.

March 20, 2012: Filloon hears a rumor that a six-well pad in the Alger will end up being a $100 million 12-wellpad. Currently, permits 21129 through 21134.

February 28, 2012: example of how busy the Alger field is right now!

December 28, 2011: BEXP reports three outstanding wells on a 4-well pad; the fourth well is still confidential.

November 23, 2011: BEXP permits for a 5-well pad in the Alger. This may be the first 5-well pad in the Bakken.

January 12, 2011: the daily activity report — #19057, BEXP, Domaskin 30-31 1H, with an IP of 4,106.

May 26, 2010: BEXP announced two great wells today. One of them was in the Alger field: Jack Cvancara 19-18 1H, just one mile from BEXP’s Sorenson 29-32 1H (see paragraph below).  “Jack” has the second highest IP, 5,035, for a Bakken well in the Williston Basin (to date), second only to his sister well, the Sorenson. The Alger field continues to surprise, continues to excite.

April 5, 2010: BEXP announces record initial flow — 5,133 boepd for the Sorenson 29-32 1H, NWNW 29-155-92. My focus on individual oil fields began with the Alger when I anticipated excitement in this field; it appears that this excitement was well placed.

March 19, 2009:  BEXP canceled a couple of permits today, both in the Alger field, one in section 11 and one in section 5, both T155-N-92W.  I don’t know anything more than that. Sometimes it means nothing more than submitting a new permit for the same acreage based on new information.


22266, conf, BEXP, Panzer 22-23 2TFH,
22291, conf, BEXP, Arvid Anderson 14-11 3H,
22292, conf, BEXP, Arvid Anderson 14-11 2TFH,
22317, conf, BEXP, Arvid Anderson 14-11 4TFH,
22368, conf, BEXP, Ross-Alger 6-7 2TFH,
22380, conf, BEXP, Vachal 3-34 3H,
22381, conf, BEXP, Vachal 3-34 4TFH,
22403, conf, BEXP, Esther Hynek 10-11 4TFH,
22404, conf, BEXP, Esther Hynek 10-11 3H,
22459, conf, BEXP, Liffrig 29-20 2H,
22460, conf, BEXP, Liffrig 29-20 3TFH,
22461, conf, BEXP, Liffrig 29-20 4H,
22481, conf, BEXP, Wright 4-33 4H,
22482, conf, BEXP, Wright 4-33 3TFH,
22526, conf, BEXP, Roger Sorenson 8-5 4TFH,
22605, conf, BEXP, Scha 33-34 3H,
22606, conf, BEXP, Scha 33-34 4TFH,
22644, conf, BEXP, Jerome Anderson 15-10 2TFH,
22645, conf, BEXP, Jerome Anderson 10-15 3TFH,
22646, conf, BEXP, Jerome Anderson 10-15 4H,
22695, conf, BEXP, Ross-Alger 6-7 4TFH,
22697, conf, BEXP, Hospital 31-36 2TFH,
22711, conf, BEXP, Alger State 16-21 3H,
22712, conf, BEXP, Holm 9-4 4H,
22713, conf, BEXP, Alger State 16-21 4TFH,
22729, conf, BEXP, Alger State 16-21 2TFH,
22730, conf, BEXP, Holm 9-4 3TFH,
22794, conf, BEXP, Scha 33-34 2TFH,
22797, conf, BEXP, Esther Hynek 10-11 2TFH,
22805, conf, BEXP, Wright 4-33 2TFH,
22354, conf, EOG, Ross 36-1707H,
22769, conf, Hess, EN-Dobrovolny-155-93-2128H-2,
22770, conf, Hess, EN-Dobrovolney-155-93-2128H-3,
22771, conf, Hess, EN-Skabo Trust 155-93-0631H-2,
22772, conf, Hess, EN-Skabo Trust 155-93-0631H-3,
22795, conf, Hess, EN-Rehak 155-93-0718H-2,
22796, conf, Hess, EN-Rehak 155-93-0718H-3,
22659, conf, Whiting, Cvancara 12-14TFH,


I am spotlighting various oil fields in the Williston Oil Basin, a project I started in early 2010. I selected Alger Field as one of the first fields to spotlight because of its surprises.

Unbeknowst to me at the time I selected the Alger Field to spotlight was the bidding war for some acreage in the Alger. Click here for the thread: note that an entity called the Irish Oil and Gas Company has just gained control of 120 acres in the Alger Field for $7,300/acre which works out to $4.7 million/section. The 120 acres are in sections 11, 12 and 13, T155N-92W, where there are already two wells on confidential status, #18647, Fidelity, Anderson 11-13H; and #17392, BEXP, Anderson 1-11H. Quite a surprise. If this thread is accurate, this is quite incredible, perhaps the most incredible thing that has happened in the history of investing in the Bakken.] [UPDATE: March 19, 2010: the BEXP Anderson 1-11H permit (#17392)  was canceled, as was BEXP permit #17353, Olson 5-6 1H, both in the Alger.]

The Alger Field is in Mountrail County, the same county where the prolific Sanish and Parshall fields are located. It is located northwest of and not too far away from those two fields. In fact, the southeast corner of the Alger borders the Sanish. The southwest corner of the Alger borders Robinson Lake. The Alger Field, with 104 sections is a relatively small field; it is a rectangular field just west of Stanley, ND. The town of Ross, ND, is located in the northeast sector of the Alger Field.

It is one of my favorite fields for two reasons: a) it is full of surprises — there have been some good wells and there’s a lot of activity; and, b) I traveled (railroad, hitchhiking, driving) that area of North Dakota too many times to count — US Highway 85 goes right through the middle of that field — through Ross, and then through Stanley — near the center of activity in the Bakken. Lots of great memories. All those  years of driving through Ross — I never  had any idea how active this area would become.

It appears the acreage in the Alger is controlled by BEXP, Hess, and EOG, causing for some interesting head-on-head comparisons.

The current producing wells are a mixture of short laterals and long laterals.

(P) = Producing
(C) = Confidential
NR = producing but not reporting IP


Going from northeast quadrant to southeast quadrant (IPs are updated periodically):

17184: 639, EOG, Ross 2-03H
19854, 328, EOG, Ross 35-0331H, Alger, t11/11; cum 36K 4/12;
19793, 215, EOG, Ross 33-0434H, Alger
19794, 446, EOG, Ross 34-533H, Alger; s12/10; t6/11; cum 54K 12/11
18310: 493, EOG, Ross 21-04H
17795: 233, EOG, Ross 3-04H
17526: 400, EOG, Ross 4-05H; Alger field; s3/09; t8/09; cum 111K 12/11
18118: 285, EOG, Ross 12-06H; Alger field, s2/10; t5/10; cum 46K 12/11
17531: 750, EOG, Ross 5-08H
19358: 698, EOG, Ross 22-07H, Alger
19679,  866, EOG, Ross 31-0806H, Alger, t6/11; cum 89K 4/12;
18444: 282,  EOG, Ross 100-09H
17950: 460, EOG, Ross 1-09H
18843: 554, EOG, Ross 18-10H
18819: 526, EOG, Ross 13-15H
20295, 184, EOG, Ross  28-1615H, Alger; 4-section spacing;
19722, 847, EOG, Ross 29-1716H, Alger,
19767, 390, EOG, Ross 32-1707H, Alger
20696, 323, Hess, EN-Meiers A-156-93-13H-1, Alger
16587 282: EOG, Ross 20-16H (new name)
16586: 537, EOG
18024: 836, EOG, Ross 10-18H, t10/09; cum 65K 4/12;
18855 DRL: Oasis, Meiers 5692 11-19H
20202, 2,634, Oasis, Mallard 5692 21-20H, Alger, t8/11; cum 108K 4/12;
18763: 853, EOG, Ross 15-28H
18784: 2,694, BEXP, Ross-Alger 6-7 1-H, t6/10; cum 236K 4/12;

Town of Ross

18062: 795, EOG, Ross 11-27H
19560, 839, EOG, Ross 27-2728H, s11/10; t3/11; cum 64K 10/11
18763, 853, EOG, Ross 15-28H, s4/10; t6/10; 102K 10/11
17664: 267, Hess, RS-Anderson-156-92-3229-1
17572: 395, Hess
17792: 186, Hess, RS-State ND D-155-92-0203H-1
17401: PNC, Lario, Sorenson 1-9H
17392: PNC, BEXP/Lario, Anderson 1-11H – canceled March 19, 2010
18647: 785, Fidelity, Anderson 11-13H, t9/10; cum 84K 4/12;
18981: 2,952, BEXP, Holm 9-4 1-H
19019: PNC, BEXP, Alger State 16-21 1-H
18547: 3,115, BEXP, Jerome Anderson 15-10 1-H
17165: 1,042, BEXP, Carkuff 22 1-H
16893: 368, BEXP, Bakke 23 1-H, t2/08; cum 74K 4/12;
17359: 1,220, Fidelity, Bakke 11-24H, t11/08; cum 112K 4/12;
17481: 892, BEXP, Adix 25 1-H
18896: 5,061, BEXP, Clifford Bakke 26-35 1-H, t10/10; cum 280K 4/12;
18156: PNC, Lario, Bakke 1-26H (that’s correct, “Bakke”)
17724: 1,788, BEXP, Strobeck 27-34 1-H, t7/09; cum 209K 4/12; now 3,000 bbls/month
18628: 4,357,  BEXP, Jack Cvancara 19-18 1-H, t5/10; cum 251K 4/12; now 5k/month
19057: 4,106, BEXP, Domaskin 30-31 1-H, t10/10; cum 228K 4/12; now 6K/month
17355 3,909: BEXP, Cvancara 20 1-H, t3/11; cum 170K 4/12;

BEXP will be putting a 5-well pad in this section: 20-155-92.

17351: 1,756, BEXP, Anderson 28-33 1-H, long lateral
18654: 3,511, BEXP, Sorenson 29-32 1-H
18721: PNC, BEXP, Evans 27-22 1-H
19036 (on top of 18721): 2,086, Oasis, Evans 5693 42-27H
18685: PNC, Hess, RS-Panzer Farms-155-92-3229-1H
18686: PNC, Hess, RS-Panzer Farms-155-92-3729H-3
18760:2,789, BEXP, Brown 30-19 1-H, t4/11; cum 123K 4/12;

18654: 4,335, BEXP, Sorenson 29-32 1-Hbeing contested by Hess, Feb 26, 2010 — This well sits right between two other BEXP wells, but for some reason Hess is crying “foul.” The two BEXP wells on either side of 18654 are 17355 and 18628; t4/10; cum 276K 4/12;

18685: PNC, Hess, RS-PANZER FARMS-155-92- 3229H-1
18686: PNC, Hess, RS-PANZER FARMS-155-92- 3229H-3

Going from northwest quadrant to southwest quadrant:

19097: 2,944, Oasis, Merritt 5693 11-24H
19407 PNC,  BEXP, Barstad 23-14 1-H
17477: 200, Oasis, Mell 44-21H, t12/08; cum 54K 4/12;
18371: 2,037, BEXP, Liffrig 29-30 1-H, t2/10; cum 156K 4/12;
18760: 2,789, BEXP, Brown 30-19 1-H, t4/11; cum 123K 4/12;
17018, 272, BEXP, Manitou State 36 1H, t6/08; cum 66K 4/12;
18466: 1,108, Oasis, Hynek 5693 42-35H, t5/10; cum 94K 4/12;
17378: 309, Hess, En-Hynek-155-93-0112H-1, t11/08; cum 80K 4/12;
16898: 282, BEXP, Hynek 2 1H, t1/08; cum 52K 4/12;
18744: 3,660, BEXP, Wright 4-33 1-H, t8/10; cum 168K 4/12;
19351: 1,529,  Hess, EN-Vachal-155-93-0532H-1, t9/11; cum 109K 4/12;
19352: 1,290, Hess, EN-Vachal-155-93-0532H-2, t10/11; cum 116K 4/12;
19354: loc, Hess, EN-Vachal-155-93-0532H-3
18848: PNC, BEXP, Charlie Sorenson 8-17 1-H
18677: 342, Hess, EN-Skabo Trust-155-93-0631H-1, t5/10; cum 83K 4/12;
18674 436: Hess, En-Rehak-155-93-0718H-1; only 436 for an IP, but 88,000 bbls in first 18 months
18881, 1,693. BEXP, Esther Hynek 10-11 1-H, t4/11; cum 95K 4/12;
18566: 1,204, Whiting, Cvancara 11-14H
17389, 322, Hess, En-Cvancara-155-93-1522H-1, t10/08; cum 102K 4/12;
18229,  531, Hess, En-State B-155-93-1609H-1, t11/09; cum 128K 4/12;
18405: 225, Hess, EN-Dobrovolny-155-93-2128H-1, t3/10; cum 45K 4/12;

New Activity:
18706: PNC, BEXP, NENW 32-156N-89W, Bangs 32-5 1-H
18712, 1,391, Slawson,  SESW 36-155N-92W, Athena 1-36H; F; t8/11; cum 89K 4/12;

Hess “Orion Belt” — in section 30-155-93
18838, 424, EN-Abrahamson-155-93-3019H-1, t7/10; cum 84K 4/12;
18839, 424, EN-Abrahamson-155-93-3019H-2, t10/10; cum 87K 4/12;
18840, 684, EN-Abrahamson-155-93-3019H-3, t12/10; cum 106K 4/12;

Sounds Like Rufus Has Stepped In It Again

Link here.

North Dakota’s Unemployment Rate Nears All-Time Record

Link to InsideClimate News/Dickinson Press:

North Dakota’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2.7 percent in May, but even that isn’t a record low for the state.

The lowest May rate in at least 25 years occurred in 2001 when it was 2.3 percent, said Michael Ziesch, manager of Job Service North Dakota’s Labor Market Information Center.

I assume the slight rise in unemployment (0.4 percent) in May, 2012, compared to May, 2001, has to do with the loss of some unspecified green energy jobs.

Seriously: if the delta is accurate (and with 0.4 percent (4/1000) I am not sure that is reproducible or statistically significant), it most likely is due to fact more folks showing up in North Dakota looking for a job are using the state’s employment services.

Slawson: Drilling The Upper Bakken Shale

Again, this is a very tantalizing story sent to me by a reader.  This is a continuation of a discussion that began here.

 I am not a geologist, but this is what I think “they” are saying.

The source rock for the Bakken Pool (which includes the Bakken formations and the Three Forks formations) is the upper Bakken formation and the upper Bakken formation.

The oil migrates from this source rock into tight reservoirs: the middle Bakken and the upper Three Forks. 

The drillers in the current Bakken boom are concentrating on the two reservoirs: the middle Bakken and the upper Three Forks.

Some argue that the upper and the lower Bakken are both source rock and reservoirs. At the link, the writer discusses the “only” operator who is targeting the source rock as a payzone: Slawson. 

There are two important data points according to the geologist at the linked article:

  • 90 – 95 percent of the oil in the source rock has not migrated to the tight shale that current operators are targeting
  • 5 – 10% of the oil in the source rock is recoverable

For comparison: it is generally accepted that the operators are currently recovering 3 to 15% of the original oil in place (OOIP). The lower, more conservative figures come from government agencies; the upper figures come from some of the operators in the Bakken. I suppose the real answer is somewhere in the middle, though it certainly appears that “best practices” could result in 10% recovery of OOIP. 

If the geologist is correct, that 90 – 95 of the “Bakken” oil is still in source rock (which has not been targeted for the most part) and that 5 – 10% is recoverable, it does not take an advanced degree in mathematics to see that the amount of oil that could be recovered from the Williston Basin defies one’s wildest imaginations.

As noted above, one operator (Slawson) is targeting source rock. It is my understanding that the technology does not exist or the lack of understanding of how to use existing technology precludes successful wells targeting the source rock. 

So the proof will be in the pudding. 

According to the linked article, one company is drilling into source rock, the upper Bakken: Slawson. 

Slawson says they are producing “some oil” from the source rock (upper Bakken) in three fields, most notably, for me, Squaw Gap in McKenzie County. They say the first Squaw Gap wells were drilled and/or completed in 2007-8 permits, so I will have to go back and check on how those wells are doing. And regardless of how they are doing, one will have to determine if there horizontals are in the upper Bakken or the middle Bakken (it may not be all that easy; I don’t know). 

 In addition, the linked article mentions that permits for six new Squaw Gap wells were issued in mid-April of this year. 

Squaw Creek Oil Field

Squaw Creek is an interesting field that got more interesting in late 2010, when I noted that at the September, 2010, NDIC hearings, EOG had requested permits for multiple horizontal wells on one 320-acre spacing unit, the east half of section section, T149N-R94. See the original blog entry below. By the end of the year, there was still no activity in that section, but the field itself was fairly active.

Squaw Creek is another one of those typically small fields in the Williston Basin. It is composed of about 31 sections, not even a full township (as of December 30, 2010). For the most part, Squaw Creek field is T149-R94. It is on the west / south side of the river and not too far west of the very prolific Van Hook field in the reservation. Squaw Creek, itself, is a westernmost field in the reservation. Another field of interest is the Spotted Horn, just north of Squaw Creek, and also just as small (just one township, T150-R94), and also inside the reservation. The Mandaree field is east of Squaw Creek.

As of December 30, 2010, this is the status of activity in Squaw Creek (IPs updated 3/12):

  • 18411: short lateral, producing
  • 19426: 320-acre spacing; EOG, Mandaree 9-04H, 1,207
  • 18464: EOG, Mandaree 1-10H, 1,659
  • 18927: EOG, Mandaree 2-09H, 1,358
  • 19004: EOG, Mandaree 12-07H, 1,440
  • 18594: EOG, Mandaree 7-17H, 105
  • 18774: EOG, Mandaree 5-16H, 526
  • 15689: vertical well, Madison, s12/04; t5/05; AL; cum 42K 1/12;
  • 18697: short lateral, 927
  • 19881: confidential, Peak, Hall 23-21H
  • 18832: confidential, Encore, Fettig 31-21H
  • 18908: 320-acre spacing; EOG, Mandaree 6-20H, 1,565,
  • 19973: confidential, WPX/Zenergy, Wolf 27-34H
  • 18766: 320-acre spacing; Denbury/Encore, Fettig 24-22H, 1,392
  • 20238, new permit, WPX/Zenergy, Spotted Horn 26-35H, 26-149-94

Note the “original blog entry” below which references 320-, 640-, and 1280-acre spacing.

Original Blog Entry

In the September NDIC docket, EOG requested multiple wells on 320-acre spacing in Squaw Creek oil field.

Maybe I’m just inappropriately exuberant, but I find “multiple wells on a 320-acre spacing” interesting, fascinating, and a bit nebulous, as in “inexact.” It’s been my experience EOG holds its cards very close to the chest, whereas CLR would have come right out and said, “x number of wells on each 320-acre unit.” Idle chatter.

I can’t wait to see how this plays out. This is near the best of the Bakken, and “they” say the EUR of a Bakken well is 700,000 bbls of oil, +/- a few hundred thousand.

Squaw Creek is a small oil field, comprising most of one township, T149N-R94W. It is only 23 sections in size. It is located on the west side of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, south of Spotted Hawk oil field  (also a very interesting play) and west of the Mandaree oil field.

I have to go back and check, but I believe this area is not too far away from the Arrow Pipeline initiative. Currently there are two rigs on site in this very little oil field, one well nearing completion, and several wells still on the confidential list.

Interestingly enough, there are a few sections with 320-acre spacing in this oil field, and the rest is split evenly between 640-acre and 1280-acre spacing.

June 15, 2012 — Daily Activity Report — Triangle (3), Oasis With a Nice Well in Painted Woods

Daily activity report, June 15, 2012 —

  • Operators: MRO (4), Triangle (3), Samson (2), Whiting
  • Fields: Ambrose (Divide), Werner (Dunn), Rosebud (Williams), Lost Bridge (Dunn), Gaylord (Billings)

Seven wells released from “tight hole” status:

  • 19929, 357, CLR, Glendon 1-17H, Williams,
  • 20328, 1,647, Petro-Hunt, Fort Berthold 151-94-26B-35-1H, Sanish, McKenzie,
  • 20972, no data, Petro-Hunt, Brenna 152-96-23C-14-4H, McKenzie,
  • 21183, no data, KOG, Smokey 16-20-32-15H, McKenzie,
  • 21639, 464, CLR, Sutton 1-3H, Williams,
  • 21663, no data, BEXP, Zacrep 2-11 1H, Williams,
  • 21842, 671, Zenergy, Knels 20-29H, McKenzie,

Again, a high number of wells not being completed.

Two producing wells completed, including:

  • 19614, 1,635, Oasis, Christianson 5404 14-34H, Painted Woods, Williams, t4/12; cum 9K 4/12;

Painted Woods is turning out to be a pretty good field.