The starting point for this work is the recently completed U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of recoverable oil in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations (US Geological Survey, 2013). The USGS assessed resources in six "Continuous Oil" assessment units (AUs): Elm Coulee-Billings Nose, Central Basin, Nesson-Little Knife, Eastern Transitional, Northwest Transitional, and Three Forks. In this study, we examine the Elm Coulee-Billings Nose and Three Forks AUs. The Three Forks is estimated to have the largest potentially productive area by far. For each AU the USGS specified distributions of potentially productive area, average well drainage area, percent of AU area untested, percent of AU in sweet spots, probability of well success for sweet spots and non-sweet spots, and average estimated EUR distribution for sweet spots and non-sweet spots.
We assume completion costs with a uniform distribution of $7 to $9 million per well for future development. Beginning with a brief description of methodology, we present results including resource cost curves for Elm Coulee-Billings Nose and Three Forks AUs.