Serving The Bakken And Beyond

Montana Drilling Zips Up; Leasing Remains Low

Kraken Oil and Gas of Houston, a new independent in the Williston Basin, is making a steady commitment to continuous horizontal well drilling in eastern Montana, joining three other operators in a surge of new activity.

At the same time, results from the state oil and gas lease sale, which included acreage in Richland County, were disappointing. The Dec. 5 sale, conducted by the Montana Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation, netted total bonuses of $194,406 for leases on 26,865 acres, with bids averaging $7.24 an acre.

Kraken has Nabors B24 drilling its Della 14-23 #1H in Roosevelt County, while Denbury Resources is using Stoneham 7 to drill the Pennel MC14-29H MT in Fallon County.

Vanguard Oil is contracting with Capstar Rig 314 to drill the EBET 2-390 well in Carbon County, while Briscoe Oil has contracted Capstar Rig 312 to drill the Pratt 8-20 in Big Horn County.

Most of the Richland County leases remained at the lowest price of $1.50/acre, while Kraken came in with a high bid of $11/acre for 120 acres in Sec. 3, T26N-R56E, and paid the same amount for 320 acres in Sec. 10, T26N-R56E.

Kraken was also the highest bidder in Roosevelt County, paying $16/acre for 120 acres in Sec. 34, T28N-R56E, and $10/acre for 640 acres in Sec. 36, T28N-R56E.

The highest bid was placed in Big Horn County by Hoover & Stacy, Inc. of Cheyenne, WY for 454 acres in Sec. 36, T7.5S-R41E. Hoover & Stacey was the second highest bidder in that county, paying $44/acre for 640 acres in Sec. 16, T9S-R42E.

In the same county, Caribou Land and Livestock Montana LLC of Boulder, CO paid $35/acre for 640 acres in Sec. 36, T8S-R42E, and the same amount for 332 acres in Sec. 6, T8S-R43E.

Ballard Exploration Company Inc. of Houston came in with the highest bid of $63/acre for the only offered tract of 240 acres in Sec. 36, T15N-R30E in Garfield County.

Tracts in Toole, Glacier, Powder River, and Sweet Grass counties drew the minimum $1.50/acre bids.