FRACTIONAL FLOW

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Posts Tagged ‘Marathon

Bakken(ND) Light Tight Oil – Update with Sep – 15 NDIC Data

After years of following developments in extraction of light tight oil (LTO) in the Bakken, the oil price, studying actual well production data from the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) and the SEC 10-Q/Ks filings for several companies heavily exposed to the Bakken, a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth comes to the fore of my mind:

All causes shall give way: I am in blood

Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o’er:

                                              (Macbeth: Act III, Scene IV)

For me the Macbeth quote very much sums up the predicament many Bakken LTO operators now find themselves in.

Figure 01: The above chart shows developments by vintage in LTO extraction from the Middle Bakken/ Three Forks/Sanish formations in Bakken (ND) as of January 2008 and of September 2015 [right hand scale]. The color grading shows extraction by month. Development in the oil price (WTI) black line is shown versus the left hand scale.

Figure 01: The above chart shows developments by vintage in LTO extraction from the Middle Bakken/ Three Forks/Sanish formations in Bakken (ND) as of January 2008 and of September 2015 [right hand scale].
The color grading shows extraction by month.
Development in the oil price (WTI) black line is shown versus the left hand scale.

What this study/update present:

  • With the decline in the oil price the average well as from the 2012 vintage will struggle to reach payout and become profitable.
    (The oil price decline reduces the portion of the more recent wells that are on trajectories to reach payout and become profitable.)
  • The 2015 vintage follows the 2014 vintage closely, suggesting that around 20% of the wells of 2015 vintage are on a trajectory to reach payout and become profitable.
  • The underlying decline from the legacy wells is strong. The extraction from all the wells started between Jan 2008 and Dec 2014 declined by close to 440 kb (or about 41%) from Dec 2014 to Sep 2015.
  • Some of the early wells (2008 vintage) have been restimulated (refracked) and the effects are short lived and the economics of this looks questionable, at best.
  • A near steep decline in LTO extraction from the Bakken is baked into the cake due to the financial dynamics created by a lasting low oil price.
  • An average of around 136 wells/month were added so far in 2015 while extraction declined close to 60 kb/d, suggesting 140 – 150 wells needs to be added each month to sustain present extraction levels.

Studying the SEC 10-K/Qs for several of the companies that are heavily weighted in the Bakken shows that natural gas and NGLs (Natural Gas Liquids) are weighing down the financial results for many companies.

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Written by Rune Likvern

Monday, 30 November, 2015 at 21:49

Status on the Bakken ”Red Queen” with Data as per April 2015

This post presents a study of developments of Light Tight Oil (LTO, shale oil) extraction for 8 companies in Bakken(ND) that as of April 2015 had added around 600 (or more) producing wells in the Bakken/Three Forks formations since January 2008.

The 8 companies are; Continental Resources, EOG Resources, Hess Bakken Investments, Marathon Oil Company, Oasis Petroleum, Statoil Oil & Gas, Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation and XTO Energy.

These 8 companies had around 63% of total LTO extraction from Bakken as of April 2015.

The decline in the oil price has so far reduced the number of rigs drilling in Bakken and a decline in total LTO extraction in Bakken. This study shows there are differences in responses amongst the studied companies to the oil price decline.

As with most other things, size matters, also in Bakken.

Figure 1: The chart above (stacked areas) shows developments in total  LTO extraction, split on the 8 presented companies and others. 4 of the studied companies had growth in LTO extraction for the period from December 2014 through April 2015 which are stacked on top. NOTE: The chart does not include contributions from wells starting to flow prior to 2008 for the presented companies and the contributions from these wells are included in others and normally diminishes as the wells ages.

Figure 1: The chart above (stacked areas) shows developments in total LTO extraction, split on the 8 presented companies and others.
4 of the studied companies had growth in LTO extraction for the period from December 2014 through April 2015 which are stacked on top.
NOTE: The chart does not include contributions from wells starting to flow prior to 2008 for the presented companies and the contributions from these wells are included in others and normally diminishes as the wells ages.

Data from the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) shows that in  April 2015 Bakken LTO extraction was at 1.11 Mb/d, down from a high of 1.16 Mb/d as of December 2014.

  • For the period December 2014 – April 2015 those in decline lost about 76 kb/d (close to 10%), while those with growth added around 21 kb/d, curtailing total decline at 55 kb/d (close to 5%).
  • The 4 companies with growth added about 300 producing wells (46%) of a total of 645 for the months January – April 15 and contributed about 37% of the total Bakken LTO extraction per April 2015.

kb; kilo barrels = 1,000 barrels

The decline in the oil price and LTO flow (for some companies) is likely to move focus to CAPital EXpenditures discipline, profitability and balance sheets healing.

The low oil price has already affected the scale of the drilling and will in the near future lead to a decline in the monthly producing wells additions.

At present oil prices ($60/Bbl, WTI) the net cash flow from operations could unabridged pay for the addition of around 100 wells/month (from spud to flow).

As of the recent months an average of 160 producing wells was started monthly and LTO extraction declined.

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Written by Rune Likvern

Thursday, 18 June, 2015 at 21:48

ER SKIFEROLJE EN ”GAME CHANGER”? Del 2 av 2

I denne andre delen om utvinning av olje fra skifer i Bakken formasjonen i Nord Dakota vil jeg presentere resultatene fra de statistiske analysene av brønnene som ble studert. Videre lønnsomhetsvurderinger for ”gjennomsnittsbrønnen” slik historiske utvinningsdata fra North Dakota Industrial Commission definerte denne.

Figur 01: Figuren ovenfor er hentet fra ”Through the Looking-Glass” av den engelske forfatteren Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (kanskje bedre kjent under sitt psevdonym Lewis Carrol) som var forfatter, matematiker og logiker.
At the top of the hill, the Red Queen begins to run, faster and faster. Alice runs after the Red Queen, but is further perplexed to find that neither one seems to be moving. When they stop running, they are in exactly the same place. Alice remarks on this, to which the Red Queen responds: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place”.

Etter presentasjoner og diskusjoner av resultatene fra studien synes nå en passende metafor for den videre utviklingen i skiferutvinning å være godt representert ved ”The Red Queen” (fra eventyret ”Through the Looking-Glass”) som hele tiden måtte løpe fortere og fortere for å kunne stå stille.

Dette for å beskrive hvorfor teknologi og/eller pris ikke kan overvinne det uunngåelige faktumet at funnstørrelser og brønnproduktivitet faller i de fleste basseng enten dette gjelder skifer eller andre petroleumsbasseng.

Sagt på en annen måte; utvinning av olje og gass fra skifer får ingen dispensasjoner fra de fysiske lovene eller historikken for områdeutvikling.

Første del av presentasjonen av studien er her.

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Written by Rune Likvern

Saturday, 8 September, 2012 at 16:23

ER SKIFEROLJE EN ”GAME CHANGER”? Del 1 av 2

Gjennom to innlegg vil jeg presentere resultatene fra en dyptgående studie av historiske data fra North Dakota Industrial Commission for utvinningen av olje fra skifer (shale oil/tight oil) i Bakken, Nord Dakota.

Resultatene fra denne studien viser;

  • Den estimerte breakeven prisen er nå $80 – $90/fat (ved 7 % diskontering, som er moderat) for den ”gjennomsnittlige” brønnen i Bakken formasjonen.
  • (I klartekst betyr dette at nå er den forretningsmessige lønnsomheten for nye brønner svakt positiv.)
  • Nå produserer den ”gjennomsnittlige” brønnen totalt omkring 85 000 fat de 12 første månedene og utvinningen faller deretter 40 (+/- 2) % fra det første til det andre året.
  • Trenden for nyere brønner er nå et markant fall i bønnproduktiviteten (1. års produksjon).
  • Siden 2007 og inntil nylig har total utvinning av olje fra skifer i Bakken vist en eksepsjonell vekst og (relativt høy) spesifikk produksjon (uttrykt ved: fat/dag/brønn) har blitt opprettholdt ved å starte utvinningen fra et akselererende antall nye brønner.
  • Nå og basert på dokumenterte trender for hovedsakelig brønnproduktivitet og prisen på olje (WTI; Western Texas Intermediate) som handles på fremtidskontrakter (NYMEX futures) blir det utfordrende å finne støtte for at total utvinning av olje fra skifer i USA (Bakken, Eagle Ford og de øvrige) vil bevege seg mye over 1,5 Mb/d (Mb/d; millioner fat for dagen) på årlig basis.

Autorative analyseselskap (som Bernstein) og ledende fagmiljø har nylig kommet til tilsvarende resultater ved bruk av andre metoder.

Figur 01: Kartet ovenfor fra EIA (Energy Information Administration) viser utstrekningen av Bakken formasjonen, områder med betydelig aktivitet og olje og gass brønner. Områdene med høyest aktivitet er de mest produktive (sweetest spots) og data viser nå at disse er vel utviklet. Klikk på bildet for større versjon i nytt vindu.

I juni 2012 viste data fra North Dakota Industrial Commission utvinning fra 4 141 brønner i Bakken formasjonen (inkluderer Bakken, Sanish, Three Forks og Bakken/Three Forks bassenget).

Total rapportert produksjon var vel 594 000 fat/dag med et spesifikt gjennomsnitt på 144 fat/brønn/dag.

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Written by Rune Likvern

Wednesday, 5 September, 2012 at 21:51

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