Looking to bolster its position in the Williston Basin, Marathon Oil Corp. said last week that it completed a series of land acquisitions totaling almost 200,000 leasehold acres in the Bakken Shale play in North Dakota and eastern Montana.
The acreage, purchased from undisclosed parties, is located within an established resource basin in Billings, Divide, Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams counties in North Dakota and Richland County, Montana. Marathon noted that the reserves are a combination of natural gas and oil and that several acquired locations are adjacent to existing producing wells and recent discoveries. The company said it anticipates participating in the drilling of 300 wells over the next four to five years with additional infill potential likely. Marathon said that by 2012, the program has the potential to add more than 20,000 Boe/d of production.
"The Bakken Shale acreage acquisition exposes Marathon to a significant resource play in North America," said Steven B. Hinchman, Marathon senior vice president of Worldwide Production. "We will draw upon our extensive experience in horizontal drilling, well stimulation [and] commercial and marketing expertise in the Rocky Mountain basins to leverage our substantial position in the Bakken Shale."
The Bakken Shale is characterized as a 30 to 70 foot sandy dolomitic horizon encased within a highly organic black shale source rock. Marathon said existing wells in the Bakken Shale area are typically drilled to a true vertical depth of 10,000 feet with horizontal extensions of 10,000 feet or greater.
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