Bakken freaks take note: Continental Resources drills to third bench of Three Forks

As I did my usual scour for all things oil and gas on Dec. 4, I came across this item, a new drilling milestone for the Bakken. If you keep track of Bakken developments like some people are sports fanatics, the press release below from Continental Resources’ website was made for people like you. Dec. 6 update: I interviewed the DMR’s Lynn Helms this morning and asked him about the development below. His response was “I can’t tell you much, because the well’s on confidential status. But yes, I knew that we had done a case which would allow them to test that expanded Three Forks pool and had permitted a well for that, as far as any results I can’t speak to them. They can tell you anything they want.” — Fresh Mojo’s Sid Pranke

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 3, 2012 — Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR) announced today it successfully completed the Charlotte 3-22H (91% WI), the first horizontal well to test the third bench (TF3) of the Three Forks zone in the Bakken field of North Dakota and Montana.

The Charlotte 3-22H flowed 953 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boepd) at 1700 psi on a 28/64 choke in its initial one-day test period. Located in McKenzie County, North Dakota, it was drilled to a total depth of 21,324 feet, including a 9,701-foot lateral section, and was completed with Continental’s standard 30-stage fracture stimulation design.

“We’re very pleased with the initial performance of the Charlotte 3-22H,” said Harold Hamm, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The well has been producing for 15 days and its performance compares favorably with other first bench (TF1) and second bench (TF2) producing Three Forks wells.”

Continental has been a pioneer in the discovery and development of the Three Forks reservoir in the Bakken field.  The Company was the first to demonstrate incremental reserves from the TF1 in 2008 and the first to establish commercial production from the TF2 in 2011. Establishing production from the TF3 is yet another significant milestone in the growth of the Company’s assets in the world-class Bakken oil field. If the Charlotte 3-22H continues to perform in line with the second bench Charlotte 2-22H, it will be the first well to establish commercial production in the third bench.

“This could be a real game-changer,” Mr. Hamm said. “The Charlotte 3-22H is the first well in a 14-well program that we plan to complete by year-end 2013 to test productivity of the second, third and fourth benches of the Three Forks over a broad area of the play.”

The 1280-acre Charlotte unit is the first unit in the Bakken field to have wells producing from three separate horizons – the Middle Bakken, TF2 and TF3 zones.

Continental estimated in late 2010 that the Bakken field would eventually yield 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Boe), based on technology available at that time. This estimate included 20 billion barrels of oil and 4 billion Boe of natural gas, and assumed 577 billion barrels of original oil in place in the Bakken and TF1. With the addition of oil found in the lower Three Forks benches, which includes the TF2, TF3 and TF4, the Company now estimates the field has 903 billion barrels of original oil in place, a 57 percent increase.

“The successful completion of the Charlotte 3-22H is another step in our efforts to assess the productivity and reserve potential of the lower benches of the Three Forks which is one of the goals of our 2013 drilling program” said Jack Stark, Senior Vice President of Exploration.  “The results are very encouraging and indicate there may be upside to our estimate of 24 billion Boe of recoverable reserves for the Bakken field.”


2 thoughts on “Bakken freaks take note: Continental Resources drills to third bench of Three Forks

  1. Good post. Hamm is a big cheerleader for the Bakken, no question. But, it’ll be interesting to see how close he is with his estimates. He’s got skin in the game, of course, but he’s probably closer than the original USGS assessment.

    Great blog. Good to hear from actual folks up there about what’s going on.

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