This paper presents an evaluation of producing Bakken horizontal wells in Williams County, North Dakota. In recent years, Williams County has experienced greater horizontal well drilling activity. That fact, coupled with the continuing advancement in drilling and completion techniques, made this area the focus of many operators. As of mid-2012, there were 730 wells producing out of the Bakken Formation in Williams County, with the majority of wells drilled on 1280-acre drilling and spacing units (" DSU").

This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the projected ultimate recovery per well using decline curve analysis for horizontal wells in the Bakken formation. Only wells with sufficient historical production data to confidently determine an initial decline trend were forecast. These wells show strong hyperbolic behavior, with a steep initial decline in oil production rate. The projections of ultimate recovery generated using decline curve analysis were supported by numerical simulation models.

The results of the evaluation demonstrate that the initial oil production rates and the ultimate recovery of horizontal Bakken wells in Williams County are a function of both production strategy and completion technique. In addition, it is shown that certain operators consistently achieve superior results as compared to other operators in the same area. Lastly, using numerical simulation models, the impact of well density within the DSUs on the projected well performance is presented.

URTeC 1560664

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