What Happens Next

By Luke Geiver | September 06, 2013

Walking to my truck on a hot August afternoon after a two-hour interview session with the North Dakota Petroleum Council, half-way between the NDPC’s Bismarck, N.D., office and my parked vehicle, I panicked. I had just held what I believed was an incredibly productive, valuable and enlightening sit-down with several of the Bakken play’s leading representatives, and then, reaching into my sports coat’s right pocket, I couldn’t locate the recorder I’d used to capture the session.

After a frantic search of my bag in the sweltering parking lot, the recorder was found and its contents, in this month’s special edition piece, “Meet the Real North Dakota Petroleum Council,” on page 8, show why I was relieved: The story of the transformation of the NDPC’s duties, and the perspectives of its members and staff, is something everyone should read. It  provides insight into the play that Ron Ness, council president, calls a world class resource. I turned the truck west and headed for Dickinson, N.D., composing the story in my head as I drove.

Later the next day, I drove to Watford City, N.D., where I’d been invited to an unveiling event for potential clients of Halliburton’s frack water recycling system, which recycles produced water created during the hydraulic fracturing process. Walter Dale, strategic business manager of water management services for Halliburton, opened his presentation on the product by telling the crowd that everywhere he goes, he talks about water. For the next hour, that’s what he did, explaining in great detail the economics of a system that could drastically reduce the amount of fresh water needed to complete a single well in the Williston Basin and why the commonly held beliefs about the importance of water quality to a successful well completion are now outdated.

The Halliburton event and the NDPC interview session highlight the constant progression in the Williston Basin, from the way a trade organization approaches a community outreach strategy today versus five years ago, to how veteran operators plan and budget for water-related costs today compared to two years ago. This month’s exploration and production feature, “Well Worth the Attention,” on page 28, also highlights the changes happening in the play. Proppant placement strategies are helping retrieve more crude faster by utilizing multiple proppant types in different sections of a horizontal. Longer laterals and the push to increase the number of discrete fracture stages in some wells is also altering the way a well is brought online now more than ever before. As the Bakken and Three Forks development continues, and the world class resource grows its global prominence, the news and technology we value today will become merely a reference point for future innovation. Case in point: Halliburton’s frack water recycling system. Everything about it is exciting. But, what’s more exciting is finding out what will happen next.   

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Luke Geiver
Editor
The Bakken magazine
lgeiver@bbiinternational.com