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Michael Filloon, Split Rock (389 clicks)
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I recently completed the article, Bakken Update: Brigham's 2012 Well Results. It focused on Brigham's (STO) changes to completions. Brigham allows initial production with minimum choke restrictions. This produces better IP rates, with little effect on longer term production. There are other variables in its completion process that also aid in higher IP rates such as:

  1. Higher volumes of water
  2. Larger amounts of proppant
  3. More stages
  4. Higher maximum treatment rates
  5. Higher treatment pressure

The differences allow for greater stimulation with an increased ability to prop open fractures. Brigham has done a better job in its completions, and this has pushed its results.

Brigham's 4Q of 2011 results give a better idea of EURs, based on a larger sample of production compared to 2012 results. Here is a list of those 4Q results:

Brigham's 4Q 2011 Well Results
Well Name IP Rate Bo/d 90-day IP Rate Bo/d Stages Water Volume Bbls Proppant lbs. Choke Treatment Rate Bbls/Min
ENDERUD 9-4 1-H 2879 820 39 79611 4101106 80/64 43.3
WILLIAM 25-36 #1-H 3082 620 39 85760 4002620 162/64 59
MARVIN 27-34 #1-H 2983 493 37 86084 4605669 166/64 43.5
HILLY 22-15 #1-H 3295 625 39 78576 3957380 96/64 43.1
TOPAZ 20-17 #1H 2575 525
BRODERSON 30-31 1H 1430 32 78889 3424820 58/64 43.8
ROSE 12-13 #1H 2943 648 36 74977 3781980 192/64 40.6
WILLISTON AIRPORT 2-11 1-H 2671 673 38 77073 3733560 192/64 40.3
FIELD 18-19 3H 2173 360 38 82993 3809749 192/64 39
HAWKEYE 16-21 #1-H 2708 567 32 56322 2429967 162/64 47.2
ERICKSON 8-17 2H 2003 392 33 73021 4012520 234/64 39.9
CHARLIE SORENSON 17-8 1-H 3742 837 38 78582 3857420 179/64 41.1
CHARLIE SORENSON 17-8 2H 3431 641 35 79124 3857420 128/64 43.7

BURES 20-29 1H

2834 741 38 79977 3857420 128/64 38.8
BURES 20-29 2H 2232 614 32 65867 3857420 179/64 56.9
BARSTAD 23-14 #1-H 1430 500 39 75517 3694459 58/64 40.3
BARSTAD 23-14 #2TFH 1454 36 77992 3776980 163/64 38.3
BROWN 30-19 #2H 2691 658 37 78129 3937040 163/64 40.2
ENNS 28-21 1-H 773 348 33 72770 3792460 166/64 41.8
Well Average 2629 629 38 81250 4028822 45.9

The 4Q of 2011 results are a much better indicator of current initial production rates. The recent 2012 results I reported, were not as consistent and more importantly it didn't report a large number of 90-day IP rates to use as a sample. 2012 completions have not been on line long enough for to achieve a proper result.

Brigham continues to use a large number of stages, proppant, and water. It also does not choke back production as it believes in not restricting production. It did however, complete a couple of wells with a choke that would restrict initial production more. Its Barstad wells seemed to only be slightly affected by using a 58/63 on the middle Bakken and 163/64 on the upper Three Forks. Both wells experienced a lower IP rate, which were almost identical to one another.

These results are interesting when compared to Kodiak's (KOG) Koala wells. Given its success, I use Brigham to gauge success of other Bakken producers. Of Kodiak's Koala wells, five have been in production for at least 90 days:

1. KOALA 9-5-6-5H: 725 Bo/d

2. KOALA 9-5-6-12H3: 645 Bo/d

3. KOALA 3-2-11-14H: 845 Bo/d

4. KOALA 3-2-11-13H: 708 Bo/d

5. KOALA 2-25-36-16H3: 557 Bo/d

The 90-day IP rate average for the five wells above are 696 Bo/d. This is 67 barrels of oil per day more than Brigham's 4Q of 2011 completions. Not only did Kodiak have better 90-day IP rates, but was able to do this with an average of 27 stages/well, compared to 38 for Brigham. As a general rule, well production increases with additional stages. Kodiak was able to accomplish this using a 36/64 choke, which makes these initial production results even better. There are a few possible reasons for Kodiak's better production with less stages. This could be from proficiency in directional drilling. If the operator manages to stay on target, it will have contact with greater surface area of the pay zone. Kodiak is doing a better job stimulating each stage. Kodiak seems to have found the way to increase the number and depth of fractures. This is promoting increased production while maintaining the number of stages. I would guess Kodiak will increase its number of stages in the future and this will also increase production.

Source: Bakken Update: Kodiak's Well Results Are Better Than Brigham's

Additional disclosure: This is not a buy recommendation.