Oil giant announces findings in lower Three Forks Formation

Sept. 13, 2013     By BRYCE MARTIN


One oil company has solved the mystery of the lower Three Forks Formation’s contents – it’s full of oil. 


Continental Resources, an Oklahoma-based oil giant, released its second quarter earnings report that detailed highlights from the oil giant’s previous quarterly activity, most notably including an update on significant data found from the Three Forks Formation. 


The Three Forks Formation includes Bowman County and details on exactly what was contained in the lower “benches” of the formation previously was unknown. 


According to the report, “[it] is massive, full of oil and more.” 


“It is looking commercial over a very large geographic area, where we think that at least one and in many cases two of these deeper benches will be commercially productive,” said Winston Frederick Bott, Continental’s president and chief operating officer. “We have confirmed the resource tank – the production capability of the reservoirs. We’ve confirmed it’s filled with oil. We’ve confirmed it’s not filled with water.” 


Continental reported that with 65 percent of the test wells completed, “the results we’ve got at this point are very encouraging.” 


Continental’s 2013 Lower Three Forks (LTF) exploration program is on target to complete 20 new wells by year-end to establish productive capacity in all LTF intervals, identify unique reserves and de-risk a broad area where the company has existing leasehold. 


To date, the company has completed 14 LTF wells, which include one Three Forks first bench (TF1) interference test well, six Three Forks second bench (TF2) wells, five Three Forks third bench (TF3) wells and two Three Forks fourth bench (TF4) wells. 


The TF2 and TF3 wells have average 24-hour initial production rates of 1,200 barrel of oil equivalent, or Boe, per day and 970 Boe per day, respectively. 


The outline of the LTF producers defines a productive area of approximately 3,800 square miles, according to the company’s report. 


At this time, 85 percent of the LTF wells have less than 120 days of production, and most have less than 90 days of production. The Company is monitoring early production from the wells closely, and the data indicates the wells are producing in line with typical TF1 producers in each area of the play. 


What that means for Bowman County, only time will tell.