Thursday, April 3, 2008

While waiting for the USGS Bakken oil field report

Bakkenshale blog has a couple of useful tables that analyze the decline in production for wells that are being drilled in the Bakken oil formation.

The initial production (IP) decline chart with cumulative production thru January 2008 shows the average production over a longer period is about 60% of what is produced in the first month.

There is a discussion group on Bakken oil.

You need 18 to 24 months of production to get a good feel for what a well is going to ultimately produce.

It appears that if you average the first 2 to 3 months of "flush production", the typical well might be producing 50% of this average amount in 10 months to a year. After 15 to 18 months in appears production has leveled off at a rate of about 25-30% of the first 3 month average (with little regard to the IP rate). Hopefully the decline from this point forward will hold at about 10%-15% per year.

The obvious exception to the scenario is the Petro-Hunt USA 2D in the Charlson area. It's reported IP was 700 barrels per day. It's 16 month total production is 378,536 barrels and the most recent month production was 1000 barrels per day.

Other cautions on every well: did they stay "in zone" while drilling; did the zone get damaged while drilling; did the direction of the lateral section optimize natural fracturing, did the frac job get into the intended zones, and on and on. We'll all be wiser in a few years as this data base grows and learning curve goes higher.

This is a play brought on by technology: horizontal drilling and fracing. Both of these will only get better and we've just scratched the surface of the Middle-Bakken potential. Who knows where the Three Forks will take us.

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