Drilling Permit Decoder

Hello All,

I am trying to decode this drilling permit info some I get but what is FSL FWL Is wildcat the oil field?.

WILLIAMS CO., 350' FSL and 2030' FWL, WC, WILDCAT, 20507', 9-5/8 " - 2345', 2393' Ground,
API #33-105-02038, (Approved : 11/8/2010)


From south line. From west line. There is a wildcat field but I don’t think that’s it. I think a well outside of a defined field is classed as a wildcat and if sucessful they can move the field lines to include it in an established field nearby. If no field is nearby and more sucessful wells are drilled near it they could become a new field. I looked at the well on the geological survey map on the NDIC website and the well head is circled in green and I think that means work is in progress, possibly it’s being fracked. Good luck with your well.

As a side note: The term "wildcat" has no application to the Bakken Pool that covers the entire Bakken Formation (a continuous oil-bearing formation); the use of the term is deceptive when considering the statutory definition of "field" which means "the general area underlaid by one or more pools." We already know where the approximate outer boundaries of the Bakken Pool are located.

See also definition of "pool" in NDCC Section 38-08-02:

"Pool" means an underground reservoir containing a common accumulation of oil or

gas or both; each zone of a structure which is completely separated from any other

zone in the same structure is a pool, as that term is used in this chapter.


Wildcat drilling refers to exploring for oil or gas in an unproven or unexplored area. Generally, due to the uncertainty of striking oil, investors who choose to enter into wildcat oil and gas limited partnership are exposed to high risks. On the other hand, should a significant amount of oil be discovered, investors can reap immense profits.


Drilling a well into the Bakken Pool is NOT drilling a well into an unproven or unexplored area.

Thanks for the replies. that’s good stuff.

Do the permit details indicate a depth that they are targeting?. Would this indicate which formation they are targeting?.

The NDIC website lists the wells location, verticle depth, formation, total depth including horozontal leg and so much more. The $50 subscription for 1 year was so worth it to me.

Oasis Petroleum NA, LLC is the operating company drilling the well. Jenson 4401 42-7H is the well (typically, the “H” at the end of a well name indicates that the well is horizontal, rather than just vertical). The wellhead is located in the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 7, township 155 north, range 101 west in Williams county. More specifically, the wellhead is located 350’ from the south line of the section and 2030’ from the west line of the section. The well is a wildcat, indicating that it is not targeting production within the boundaries of a defined field. 9-5/8" is the size of the first casing string (surface casing) which is to be set at 2345’. Elevation at the wellhead (groundlevel) is 2393’ above sea level. The API number is a unique identifier for the well (33 indicates North Dakota, 105 indicates Williams County, and 02038 indicates it is the 2038th well permitted in the county). The drilling permit was approved on 11/8/2010. Good luck.