The Bakken shale is an oil rich shale, present mostly in the Williston Basin, and covers parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Production at the end of 2010 was estimated by Bentek Energy to be 458,000 BOE/d. Some operators (Eg., Continental Resources) estimate that output potential could be a huge 1.2 MMBOE/d by the end of 2016. Continental Resources also estimates that there is ~ 24 billion barrels of recoverable oil, which is a huge jump from USGS estimates of up to 4.38 billion barrels a couple of years ago, and a meagre 151 million barrels in 1995. Therefore, this shale is likely to be a major contributor to US oil production in the near future. The following table gives a list of the top 10 Bakken Shale acreage holders.
Opportunities in the Bakken Shale are presented in the following chart using data captured in the Derrick 'Deals in Play' Database.
Table 1: Bakken Play opportunites sorted by net undeveloped acres. Also shown is the deal value range as estimated by Derrick analysts. Hover over bars for additional information. Click on the bars to get details on individual deals. Source: Derrick ‘Deals in Play’ database.
The following table shows recent transactions involving the Bakken Shale for insight into its recent $/Acre.
Table 2: X axis shows Buyer-Seller. Y axis is deal value. $/acre is given above the bar's in the chart. Data is sorted by quarter. Only recent deals involving primarily acreage transactions are shown. Hover over bars for additional information. Click on the bars to get details on individual deals. *Multiple Sellers = Arkoma Bakken LLC; Long Properties Trust; Reynolds Drilling Co Inc. Source: Derrick Deals Database.
a. Most of the opportunities involving the Bakken shale are in the US, with just 2 in Canada.
b. Mid and small cap, and private companies are looking to sell, possibly due to the higher prevailing oil prices at the moment.
c. The majors are holding on to their assets, possibly signaling that they believe they are high value and are worth keeping.
d.The oil rich Bakken Shale could present a low risk - high reward opportunity as oil prices are high.
e. With increasing technology, the potential to recover far more oil than was previously possible makes this acreage a potential gold mine; to acquire or hold onto.