I have received a letter to lease from Empire Oil, also connected with Whiting-They mention the following words--PROSPECT: TARPON Does anyone know what this means? I was under the assumption that I was already leased with Whiting for my 4 sections in question, also the letter mentions Birdbear formation, any info would be great.

P.S> I do have a well on sections 6 & 7, buy not 1 & 12, which are under water. 153--range 97-98

Thanks for any help Ardis

Dear Ms. Jackson,

An overview of information on the Birdbear formation can be found here:



A Prospect name is a name given by an oil company to internally define certain areas geologically. A prospect name could be anything. At Shell, one time we named a set of prospects after the secretaries on the 49th (executive) floor of One Shell Square. Susan Prospect, Lois Prospect, etc. At one time, it was the fashion to name the prospect after a geographic area, such as northeast Hartburg. That became problematic, because if a competitor looked over your shoulder and saw nothing other than the prospect name, they would have a general idea where you were working.

Best wishes,

Buddy Cotten

Thanks, you have cleared the term Prospect up somewhat, guess it just means Tarpon area, never heard of it, not the Birdbear formation.


Whiting is getting ready to spud a well in that DSU in early August this year. The well will hold the entire dsu by production so they are sending lowball lease offers to any remaining unleased mineral owners in hopes of locking them in at a cheap rate. I hope you have not leased your acreage! I am pretty sure that the only reason Whiting is drilling this well is to hbp a lot of acreage that begins to expire in February 2017, including 200 acres of ND state land in section 1 that was leased at $9900/acre. They do not want to let those leases go and then either have to buy them back at auction or lose control of the drilling unit. I have only seen one permit issued by the NDIC and I doubt there will be any other wells drilled in that unit unless the price of oil goes way back up.

The Tarpon designation is a name they gave to the wells in that area, you can look them up on NDIC. Some of Whiting's most productive wells are Tarpon wells located east of this unit, they have the name Flatland in the well descriptions so you can search the well list by either name.

The Birdbear is the name given to one of the layers in the Bakken formation but I can't remember offhand if it is the topmost or bottom layer.

Sorry for the late reply but I don't check in here too often anymore. Feel free to PM me but the responses may be slow in coming.



Thanks for your reply- After checking our original lease with Hess, Whiting has decided our sections, 1 & 12, 6 & 7 are being held by Garman wells on section 18, these 5 sections were leased about 6 years ago. We were new to the oil business at that time and did not include a Pugh clause, so mad about that. Anyway, our land lady at Whiting has stated that they will drill in early August, but the permit says they have to drill 6 wells. I would assume there is not a time limit on that, one way they will get around it. From what she says the heel will go in section 7 and toe in section 6. Wonder if that will hold their lease. I knew nothing about the state lease on section 1, interesting. Now I understand the term Tarpon, also I believe Birdbear formation is below Three Forks, from what I hear. Thank you for all your help! Ardis