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Bakken producers continue to improve initial production which will equate to higher EURs. Companies have been slow to raise EURs, but I would think this will happen soon and those increases could be quite large. Producers are increasing the number of wells drilled by decreasing the amount of time it takes to drill and complete. Some companies are reducing the number of rigs, as efficiencies allow for more wells/rig. This means more oil/well, using less rigs and saving time. All of this is being done at decreased cost.

There are big changes occurring in the Bakken. Many of the producers have a good portion of acreage held by production. This allows for a ramp up of drilling in the best areas. To decrease time drilling and completing wells, pad drilling is be used. Oil companies are also getting comfortable in the play, which is translating to better IP rates. Some of the best IP rates have come from Kodiak (KOG). Brigham (STO) is using a large number of stages, and allows initial production to run freely. Brigham's results are not as good as Kodiak, but still better than the majority of Bakken operators. Whiting (WLL) has had some fantastic results in the Pronghorn, but these have been sporadic. I would suspect results will be more consistent going forward.

Oasis (OAS) has slowly made improvements to its Bakken drilling program. Few have noticed these changes as most of the attention had been on Brigham and is now on Kodiak. These improvements can be seen in its recent completions.

Oasis 4Q 2011 Well Completions
WellIP Rate (BO/d)90-day IP RateChokeStagesVolumeProppant
BRIER 5200 42-22H1358 22/6444969545383113
STEWART 5200 12-29H2081704112/6436753684536130
ANDERSMADSON 5201 41-13H98142248/6436914574561361
HANOVER FEDERAL 5300 13-14H144559630/64 727684500102
CHALMERS 5300 31-19H139552724/6436748264539124
FOLEY FEDERAL 5301 43-12H116752828/6436744754519292
HELLING TRUST 11-15H1731481112/64 796194436915
LYNN 5502 11-10H65319534/6416473352839049
HERON 5693 43-12H132736848/6436794154541467
MELVILLE 5601 12-18H1339310112/6436740664508968
THOMPSON 5601 43-24H75640832/64 802414593128
DARRELL 5602 42-10H62123148/64 817014526328
COOPER 5603 43-8H119?30/64 357851947372
CHARLIE 5603 43-19H54?40/64 437892387775
HILLSTEAD 5603 13-29H38224226/6436876526557807
YEISER 5603 42-33H68323268/64 746894385939
ATLAS 6092 13-20H183 30/6410257161266327
Averages957403  703443879275

Oasis has had some very interesting results as it has increased the number of stages to 36, with increased water volumes and proppant. These results may seem to be all over the board, but there are good reasons for this. It has had its best results in Camp Field of McKenzie County during the fourth quarter of 2011. These results were even better than its wells in Alger Field, which also points to north McKenzie as possibly better than west Mountrail County. Its Brier well was its most aggressive well to date with 44 stages and over 5 million pounds of proppant. I would guess we will see Oasis continue to do wells of this size, depending on results. It also has completions in west Williams County where pressures are lower. This area produces smaller IP rates, but has lower well costs. Burke County completions also provide lower IP rates, but Oasis is just starting to figure this area out. These numbers should continue improve. Oasis did have two wells with big problems in the fourth quarter. Cooper and Charlie both look to be quite bad, but we will continue to watch these wells for any positive news.

In summary, Oasis is using a 36 stage long lateral with 4.5 million pounds of proppant. This is its standard design, but I would guess these numbers will continue to change as results dictate. It is having some very good success in north McKenzie and south Williams counties, and I anticipate these results will continue to get better.

Source: Bakken Update: Oasis Is Increasing Production

Additional disclosure: This is not a buy recommendation.