Apache Pleased With Oil Shows In Logs From First Bakken Well

Apache Pleased With Oil Shows In

Logs From First Bakken Well



Apache Corp.’s top executive is pleased with what he’s seen from the first well drilled in the company’s newly acquired acreage in Daniels County, on the northwestern fringe of the Bakken petroleum system.

“As we continue to build and execute our global pipeline of exploration activity we’re testing two wells (in two new plays for Apache) — one in the Williston Basin and

one in the Mississippi Lime,” G. Steven Farris, company chairman and chief executive officer, said in early November in Apache’s third quarter earnings conference call.

“The good news is we’ve had good oil shows from the logs in the formations that we were targeting,” he said.

The horizontal wells in the Williston Basin would be targeting the middle Bakken and upper Three Forks members, Apache previously said.

“We’re currently in the completion phase of our initial wells in each of these plays and we’ll be experimenting with our frack designs to give us optional results,” Farris said.

For the horizontal well in Daniels County, where Apache acquired about 300,000 net acres in the first half of 2012, Farris said the company was in the process of hydraulic fracturing its first well and drilling its second well, which he put at 2,700 feet as of Nov. 1.

Although Apache had expected to drill as many as five wells by the end of the year, Farris since it would have “two wells down” by that time.

When asked if Apache was still picking up acreage in the area, Farris essentially repeated what company vice president for exploration and new ventures, John Bedingfield, said in mid-June when the Houston-based company announced its entry into the Williston Basin and its 300,000-acre acquisition.

The leasing is done, Bedingfield said.

“Some will trickle in, but the big leasing is done.”

Farris also noted that “there have been some other operators … not right next door … that have announced pretty good results. I mean, the play is moving that way (northwest), so hopefully, it moves all our way. We’re going to find out here pretty quick.”

Bedingfield said in June that if 2012 drilling was successful Apache would ramp up drilling in the area in 2013.

In response to a request for an update on Apache’s first two wells in Daniels County, a company spokesman said, “we’ll have more to say next year after the data are analyzed, and we’re in a better position to comment on their impact.”

Daniels County is known for producing conventional oil from the Ratcliff, Madison, Mission Canyon and McGowan formations.

Although Apache is initially focusing on the middle Bakken and the upper Three Forks, from which almost all Bakken petroleum system crude is currently being produced, Bedingfield said “there are a number of other plays” throughout Apache’s Daniels County acreage: “The Madison section above us, Lodgepole and others. … And below in the Devonian, there’s other Devonian plays, the Birdbear, for example, which also has oil pay.”

During third quarter Farris said Apache “accelerated our drilling momentum across our portfolio and we’ve got excellent results. In the U.S. we continue to step off our play activity and now run 63 rigs (nearly 100 worldwide) — 50 percent more than we had at the beginning of the year.”

The buying spree Apache started two and a half years ago has since slowed down because the company now has identified thousands of drilling locations worldwide, including 1,900 potential locations in Daniels County.

Farris said the company had a $10 billion exploration and development budget in 2012, and planned to expand drilling in 2013 throughout its portfolio,

Apache’s oil production as of Nov. 1 was 800,000 barrels a day, Farris said.

Worldwide, Apache received an average of $102.62 per barrel of oil in the third quarter, a slight increase from $101.71 per barrel in the prior-year period.

—Kay Cashman

Petroleum News - Nov. 18 issue

Copyright Daniels County Leader