The formation beneath North Dakota and Montana holds the equivalent of 903 billion barrels of so-called oil in place, compared with the company’s 2010 estimate of 577 billion, Oklahoma City-based Continental said in a statement today. The Bakken’s potential expanded after the company was the first to successfully tap a deeper geological layer of the Three Forks zone, according to the statement.
The breakthrough at the Charlotte 3-22H well represents the second exploration triumph in as many months for Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm. The company announced a discovery known as the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, or SCOOP, on Oct. 9 that may add 1.8 billion barrels to Continental’s reserves in coming years.
Continental estimated in late 2010 that the Bakken field would eventually yield 24 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Boe), based on technology available at that time. This estimate included 20 billion barrels of oil and 4 billion Boe of natural gas, and assumed 577 billion barrels of original oil in place in the Bakken and TF1. With the addition of oil found in the lower Three Forks benches, which includes the TF2, TF3 and TF4, the Company now estimates the field has 903 billion barrels of original oil in place, a 57 percent increase.
"The successful completion of the Charlotte 3-22H is another step in our efforts to assess the productivity and reserve potential of the lower benches of the Three Forks which is one of the goals of our 2013 drilling program" said Jack Stark, Senior Vice President of Exploration. "The results are very encouraging and indicate there may be upside to our estimate of 24 billion Boe of recoverable reserves for the Bakken field."
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