Whiting's Plans?

We have leases with Whiting in 10N57W. They have drilled 42 new wells from 4 pads in Section 7. Twenty-one of them go North and 21 go South for about a mile and a half. They have apparently drilled and cased them and shut them in. None of them have been fracked or completed, and there is no activity there.

Does anyone have any information about what their plans might be for these wells? I am not sure what the advantage might be to have spent a lot of money to get this far and then walk away from them. I understand that they couldn't complete them and sell the product at a profit right now, but what might the reason be for investing millions of dollars without any prospect of near-term return?

Hi Ed,

You should listen to the last several Whiting quarterly earnings calls. In these, Volker (CEO) states that they will not complete (frack) any new wells this year, or until prices improve. This is due to the frack jobs being an enormous percentage of the total well costs. This strategy lets them keep costs down currently while still having the potential for a large revenue stream that they can very quickly bring on line when prices improve. Hope this helps.

T. Reed

And I suppose drilling was relatively cheap with so many idle drill rigs.


T. Reed

WLL has been shopping this deal for a while now to find a financial partner to come in and pay the costs to complete these wells.

That is all about what I imagined it would be, but thanks very much for your responses. I have followed Whiting's corporate statements and understand that they are not going to complete any wells at this time. I guess the money to drill them was available, the pipe was laying around on the ground, and the drilling rig could be hired at bargain basement prices (they were all drilled with one rig). With what is happening to oil prices, I am not sure that even at bargain rates the dollars spent on these wells were a reasonable investment, however.

Ed, I also think the investment community doubts Volker’s reserve estimates for this acreage. The geology is good there but a bit inconsistent across those sections and unlikely supports the density they are proposing.

It is going to take some time because Volker doesn’t want to admit his reserves are less than what he told Wall St. and no financial party would otherwise accept the terms he is proposing or you would think a deal would have been done by now.