Mixing New Technology With Experience

Technology will lead the continued evolution of the Bakken. But, who will be running or utilizing this new technology? And, who will lead the Bakken into the post-commodity-price induced slowdown?
By Luke Geiver | May 01, 2016

Technology will lead the continued evolution of the Bakken. We often hear that advancements created out of necessity during a time of low commodity prices—which is certainly right now—will improve individual well-production rates and positively impact field operations and the overall cost of doing business. But, who will be running or utilizing this new technology? And, who will lead the Bakken into the post-commodity-price induced slowdown? In the best case scenario, it would be experienced oilfield veterans who have successfully leveraged new technology for oilfield gain, been through other oil industry slowdowns, demonstrated the ability to implement new technologies and strategies, and understands basic oilfield metrics that have held steady over time.

Unbeknownst to each other at the time, when our team conducted feature interviews for this issue, we talked with several company leaders who fit that description. In his feature, “Standing Like A Rock,” Patrick Miller spoke extensively with Curt Dacar, founder of Rockpile Energy Services about the various strategies the company has deployed to stay successful at a time when all contracted work activity is slow. Dacar, before taking on his current duty as CEO for Rockpile, had survived and thrived in the oilfield services sector during challenging and unique times that spanned roughly 40 years. He has seen or experienced dramatic oilfield changes—from horizontal drilling to proppant distribution systems to safety protocols. He may not have a patent on the next greatest downhole tool or software option, but it’s safe to say that when he gets his hands on either one, he’ll know how to capture its value without disrupting current productivity.

Paul Favret and Kent Moore, mentioned in the article, “Capitalizing On The Bakken’s New Resource,” share similar attributes with Dacar. Each has survived and thrived. Each has seen low oil prices and flipped single-digit  investments into triple-digit divestitures (Moore ran a drilling operation when oil was trading at $9 per barrel). Through their newly formed company, Resource Energy LLC, the Denver-based team is intensely focused on new technology and strategies. The company has acquired several producing assets in the Williston Basin and, Moore told us, they plan to refrack horizontal wells that were completed as recently as a year ago. Such goals ring true with the idea that technology and innovation will push the Bakken to new levels of productivity and efficiency. But, what does it matter how great a new technology is if there is no one capable of using it and blending the old with the new? As this current issue reveals, the Bakken’s future is bright. New technology and strategies are on the way, and no one is more excited about it than the people who already know how it could change things.

Luke Geiver
Editor
The Bakken magazine
lgeiver@bbiinternational.com