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Denbury (DNR) has been working the Bakken/Three Forks quite hard over the past couple of years. Even though its main business is EOR, it is increasing production quickly through unconventional methods in North Dakota. Early last year, Denbury was using 15 stage laterals, and in my opinion were behind other operators with respect to completion design. Recently Denbury has seen a big improvement in initial production which should translate to higher EURs.

Much of Denbury's Bakken acreage was acquired, and was operated by Encore in 2011. This includes Siverston Field in McKenzie County. This area is one of the better locations in the Williston Basin, and has produced very good wells for Newfield (NFX), Kodiak (KOG) and XTO Energy (XOM). These three links provide access to each companies' well design. In the table below, I have covered Encore's results in Siverston Field. Later in the article I will also cover Denbury's results for 2012.

2011 Encore Results In Siverston Field
NameDateChokeStagesWaterProppant60Day IP120Day IP
Satter 44-34SWH4/1124/6423372892941200496450
Hoffmann 149-98-1-12-1H4/1128/6424372182991800491399
Satter 44-34NWH5/1118/6420459932945305499432
Johnson 31-6SWH5/1118/6424497052391309400354
Koeser 41-15SWH6/1124/6424547922887940321325
Lundin 11-15SEH7/1125/6420584603068687516424
Lee 34-31NWH7/1120/6424497882887940577441
Sorenson 34-32NWH8/1120/6419568222959860430377
Johnson 11-5SEH8/1112/6424594263170200236296

Encore's results were good considering its completion design. It used average amounts of water and a significant amount of proppant, but still used less than 30 stages in all the wells above. This led me to believe there is significant improvement to be had with some changes to these variables. In 2012, Denbury has seen a marked improvement to IP rates in Siverston Field. Here is its well design in that area.

Denbury's 2012 Results In Siverston Field
NameDateChokeStagesWaterProppantIP Rates
Serrahan 41-6SWH1/12


Satter 24-35NEH1/1218/6426102495304478460Day=531
Satter 24-35SEH1/1222/6424126621287062660Day=617
Johnson 24-31NEH3/1230/642664356309119860Day=482
Lundin 11-13SEH4/1220/6426128590303362253Day=585

Only five Denbury operated Siverston wells completed in 2012 are off confidential status. Of those five, Denbury has slightly increased proppant and made a very large increase to volumes of water used. As far as I know these water volumes are higher than any other operator in the Bakken. What I find most interesting, is Denbury uses over 130000 Bbls. of water on a 26 stage frac while Whiting (WLL) will use just over 20000 on a 25 stage. These highly variable water volumes does raise questions as to how much water can be used as a bare minimum? Also, there are questions as to how much water should be used per stage on a two mile lateral.

In summary, Denbury is making progress with respect to its completion design in Siverston Field. This progress includes a very large increase in water volumes. It also uses a better than average amount of proppant per well with a moderate number of stages and tight choke. Denbury is moving slower in adding stages as it determines the proper amount of water to use per stage first. This is important as other companies like Kodiak and Exxon are doing the same while companies like Whiting are increasing stages ahead of water increases.

Source: Bakken Update: Denbury Is Using Significant Volumes Of Water In Completions

Additional disclosure: IP rates are measured in barrels of oilWater volumes are measured in barrelsProppant is measured in poundsThis is not a buy recommendation.