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In my last article I focused on initial production rates in northeastern McKenzie County. This article confirmed better production in 2011, which should continue to improve in 2012. Analyzing an area as a whole is a much better way to see which parts of the Bakken are the best producers, as it can give a macro view. This can be used to compare specific areas, which will in turn help to substantiate values per acre. Mountrail County has been thought of as the best Bakken acreage, hopefully this comparison will help to substantiate this claim. This article is limited to Southwest Mountrail County and for wells completed in 2011.

Marathon (NYSE:MRO) has conservative EURs in Mountrail County of 577 Mboe. Here is a list of its completed wells in 2011, the 24 hour IP rate and 90 day IP rate:

  1. Elk USA 11-17H: 1088 Bo/d and 562 Bo/d
  2. Luther USA 11-16H: 463 Bo/d and 396 Bo/d
  3. Luther USA 31-16H: 608 Bo/d and 445 Bo/d
  4. Shirley Pennington USA 14-22H: 1458 Bo/d and 501 Bo/d
  5. Jacob Madison 11-27H: 1291 Bo/d and 436 Bo/d
  6. RMJK 31-26H: 1057 Bo/d and 450 Bo/d
  7. Skogstad 41-28H: 1163 Bo/d and 445 Bo/d

Oasis (NYSE:OAS) has EURs of 675 Mboe. Its 2011 locations have IP rates of:

  1. RUUD 5493 42-23H: 1592 Bo/d and 422 Bo/d
  2. Mallard 5692 21-20H: 2634 Bo/d and 562 Bo/d
  3. Hagen 5792 44-31H: 1685 Bo/d and 561 Bo/d

QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) has aggressive EURs of 900 Mboe. In 2011, it has 24 hour and 90 day IP rates of:

  1. Fed 1-27H-152-92: 1388 Bo/d and 498 Bo/d

MDU (MDU) has a much lower EUR of 250-500 Mboe for Mountrail County. This is surprising given some very good well results. Its 2011 well's 90-day IP rates are:

  1. Lynn 19-20-29H: 788 Bo/d and 419 Bo/d (4 sections)
  2. MCD 11-29H: 145 Bo/d and 106 Bo/d (one section)
  3. Behr 16-21H: 1412 Bo/d and 727 Bo/d (2 sections)
  4. Hill 31-30H: 1319 Bo/d and 993 Bo/d (2 sections)
  5. TTT Ranch 33-28H: 1264 Bo/d and 874 Bo/d (2 sect.)
  6. Clifford 14-24H-25: 1145 Bo/d and 459 Bo/d

Continental (NYSE:CLR) has an average Bakken EUR of 603 Mboe. It has seen a very nice improvement in completions from 2010 to 2011. This is the main reason for its recently announced bullish production numbers:

  1. Vachal 2-27H: 366 Bo/d and 342 Bo/d
  2. Vachal 1-27H: 701 Bo/d and 424 Bo/d
  3. Rehak 1-25H: 433 Bo/d and 419 Bo/d

Whiting (NYSE:WLL) has EURs of 950 Mboe in Sanish Field, which are the highest estimates in the Bakken:

  1. Oppeboen 14-5WH: 2705 Bo/d and 597 Bo/d
  2. Lacey 14-1XH: 2261 Bo/d and 563 Bo/d
  3. Brehm 21-4H: 881 Bo/d and 314 Bo/d
  4. Barlow 14-6XH: 1055 Bo/d and 379 Bo/d
  5. Brehm 12-7H: 874 Bo/d and 298 Bo/d
  6. Ness 21-3H: 1466 Bo/d and 395 Bo/d
  7. Bartleson 21-3H: 1100 Bo/d and 345 Bo/d
  8. Snyder 21-11H: 2033 Bo/d and 496 Bo/d
  9. Fladeland 14-18WH: 1060 Bo/d and 525 Bo/d
  10. Nesheim 11-24XH: 3502 Bo/d and 824 Bo/d
  11. Smith 14-29XH: 1805 Bo/d and 504 Bo/d
  12. Ness 42-31WH: 1327 Bo/d and 354 Bo/d
  13. State 12-32H: 1993 Bo/d and 469 Bo/d
  14. Brehm 41-35XH: 1755 Bo/d and 617 Bo/d
  15. Satterthwaite 43-1H: 1289 Bo/d and 361 Bo/d
  16. Roggenbuck 43-24H: 1336 Bo/d and 202 Bo/d
  17. Bernard Roggenbuck 24-25H: 1820 Bo/d and 435 Bo/d
  18. Arndt 14-5XH: 1308 Bo/d and 487 Bo/d
  19. Niemitalo 31-15XH: 2720 Bo/d and 509 Bo/d
  20. Sikes State 43-16H: 3159 Bo/d and 768 Bo/d
  21. Oja 14-27XH: 1959 Bo/d and 492 Bo/d
  22. Hoover 14-1XH: 2043 Bo/d and 464 Bo/d
  23. Heiple 14-3XH: 1870 Bo/d and 659 Bo/d
  24. Tiisto 14-12XH: 1658 Bo/d and 753 Bo/d
  25. Brookbank State 41-16XH: 2503 Boe/d and 544 Bo/d

EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) has not released much by the way of EUR estimates, other than 816 Mboe in Parshall Field. It seems they are one of the few producers still using short laterals, but are also experimenting with laterals covering four sections.

  1. Fertile 45-29H: 387 Bo/d and 404 Bo/d (short lateral)
  2. Fertile 19-29H: 753 Bo/d and 325 Bo/d (short lateral)
  3. Liberty LR 17-11H: 790 Bo/d and 617 Bo/d (short lateral)
  4. Liberty LR 14-23H: 510 Bo/d and 515 Bo/d (short lateral)
  5. Liberty LR 19-23H: 1063 Bo/d and 552 Bo/d
  6. Liberty 10-36H: 732 Bo/d and 724 Bo/d (short lateral)
  7. Liberty LR 16-36H: 1066 Bo/d and 761 Bo/d
  8. Liberty LR 21-36H: 1648 Bo/d and 797 Bo/d
  9. Van Hook 17-23H: 861 Bo/d and 375 Bo/d (short lateral)
  10. Van Hook 16-35H: 810 Bo/d and 393 Bo/d (short lateral)
  11. Austin 102-05H: 30 Bo/d and 46 Bo/d (short lateral)
  12. Burke 31-20H: 29 Bo/d and 230 Bo/d (short lateral)
  13. Ross 33-0434H: 215 Bo/d and 415 Bo/d (4 sections)
  14. Ross 34-0533H: 446 Bo/d and 392 Bo/d (4 sections)
  15. Ross 30-0915H: 381 Bo/d and 331 Bo/d
  16. Ross 28-1615H: 184 Bo/d and 278 Bo/d
  17. Ross 32-1707H: 390 Bo/d and 370 Bo/d
  18. Ross 29-1716H: 847 Bo/d and 298 Bo/d (1 section)
  19. Ross 27-2728H: 839 Bo/d and 394 Bo/d (1 section)
  20. Redmond 21-1807H: 921 Bo/d and 430 Bo/d
  21. Clearwater 8-0506H: 191 Bo/d and 329 Bo/d
  22. Clearwater 101-0718H: 124 Bo/d and 297 Bo/d
  23. Clearwater 11-1807H: 235 Bo/d and 244 Bo/d
  24. Clearwater 24-3025H: 462 Bo/d and 374 Bo/d
  25. Clearwater 23-3025H: 140 Bo/d and 417 Bo/d
  26. James Hill 9-0112H: 389 Bo/d and 274 Bo/d

These results only show production results and not the different completion methods used by each company. EOG is still using short laterals (5000 feet) in its Parshall Field, while most companies have gone to long laterals (10000 feet) exclusively because of its economic advantages. Every oil producer uses different completion methods. Some companies are slower to adopt newer technologies. Brigham (NYSE:STO) is a great example. This company was doing 40 stage wells while most of its competitors were still doing 24, and this was a big reason for the very large production numbers. Brigham also was not aggressively choking back production, while other companies were operating under the premise long term returns would be better if pressure was kept up early in production.

Southwest Mountrail County continues to be some of the best acreage in the Williston Basin. The oil producers on this list had 2011 24 hour and 90-day IP rate averages of:

  1. Marathon: 1018 Bo/d and 462 Bo/d
  2. Oasis: 1970 Bo/d and 515 Bo/d
  3. QEP Resources: 1388 Bo/d and 498 Bo/d
  4. MDU: 1012 Bo/d and 596 Bo/d
  5. Continental: 500 Bo/d and 395 Bo/d
  6. Whiting: 1819 Bo/d and 494 Bo/d
  7. EOG Resources: 555 Bo/d and 407 Bo/d

The 24 hour IP rates vary considerably when compared to the 90-day rates. I cannot stress how important this is. Although there are several wells with IP rates north of 3000 Bo/d. These wells do not have the highest 90-day IP rate. Hill 31-30H provided the highest 90-day IP rate of 993 Bo/d and achieved this with a 24 hour IP rate of 1319 Bo/d. So be careful when assessing a well based on just a day or weeks production, as several variables can effect EURs in the shorter term.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: This is an article about initial production rates in southwest Mountrail County. It is not a buy recommendation.