Horizontal leg crossing Spacing Unit Borders

In looking at the NDIC GIS maps it appears that most horizontal legs run North-South and are contained in one Spacing Unit. What is involved if a horizontal leg runs East-West and covers two Spacing Units? Are Spacing units redefined? What is the permitting process? How are Mineral Rights owners affected in the two different Spacing Units?



There is such a thing as a layflat 1280 acre spacings. Spacings can overlay also, such as 1920 acre spacings which could have parts of 2,3 or even more spacings if they overlay several section lines. Did you look at the GIS server map with the drilling/spacing filter activated to see if it was just a (fairly) common layflat ? Layflats are less common but there are still many of them.

The horizontal leg has not yet been drilled - just suggested. So it does not show on the map even though I was using the drilling/spacing filter activated. Current spacing is 157N 101W Sections 6/7, adjacent unit 157N 101W Sections 5/8, and adjacent unit 157N 102W Sections 1/12. If a horizontal leg were to be drilling overlying two of these three sections how would the Spacing Units be affected/changed?

Thanks again!


I looked and none of the permitted wells had an east/west orientation, none of the spacings were layflats. Doesn't mean they can't drill an east/west well, just a bit less likely. Out of curiosity, who is telling/ suggesting to you they are going to drill such a well ?


Mr. Kennedy is correct about the soft function of permits and units. Like all rules, they are there to be changed. The closer you are to the Mountrail- Williams county line, there are good reasons geologically to drill east west in the Bakken. See Petro Hunt and Hell wells in that area. It's a function of natural fracturing and planes of weakness around that deep seated uplift below. The operators will and should sort out the final geometry and size of the producing units from the geologic technology they uncover by drilling and logging. you can bet that whatever is good for them will be good for the mineral owner.

I'm also in the Denver area so feel free to contact me if you want some added information.

Gary L. Hutchinson

Mineals Management