The Bakken formation in the Williston Basin has received increasing recognition over the past five years due to the ability of operators to consistently deliver wells with prolific production results and extraordinary economics. This has been made possible by the steady advancement of technologies associated with drilling and completing horizontal wells in addition to the majority of the wells being located in the core of the formation where reservoir pressure gradients are at their maximum.

The magnitude of the Bakken formation means that the majority of the acreage is considered intermediate or outlying from the core presenting the challenge of making the normal pressured reservoir in these areas economically viable. This paper presents a unique combination of drilling optimization with advanced open hole, multi-stage fracturing system (OHMS) technology, which together are pushing the envelope for continued improvement in operational and production efficiencies.

This paper will present directional drilling advantages and artificial lift benefits using rotary steerable technology and advancements in OHMS allowing increased stage density for production optimization. Through the proper implementation of these leveraging technologies, the time to drill and complete a well in the Bakken has been reduced and fracture stage density has been increased over current standards igniting a continuing trend to increase stage density in the Bakken formation as a result of significant gains in sustained recovery.

This systematic approach to streamlining the drilling and completion programs has resulted in notable improvements in the economic metrics for the play. The technological progress presented has resulted in a dramatic shift in the industry in terms of drilling and completion in the Bakken formation and the techniques described can be adapted and applied in virtually any resource play.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.