SOURCE: Brigham Exploration

Brigham Exploration

September 23, 2011 09:10 ET

Brigham Exploration Announces Company Record Three Forks Well in Rough Rider and Provides Operations Update

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Sep 23, 2011) - Brigham Exploration Company (NASDAQ: BEXP) announced that the Irgens 27-34 #2H Three Forks well produced approximately 2,906 barrels of oil equivalent during its early 24-hour peak flow back period, which represents a company record early production rate for a Three Forks well. The Irgens 27-34 #2H is located in Brigham's Rough Rider project area in Williams County, North Dakota. To date, Brigham has completed 88 consecutive long lateral high frac stage wells in North Dakota with an average early 24-hour peak rate of approximately 2,797 barrels of oil equivalent.

Rough Rider Three Forks Well

Brigham announced the successful completion of the Irgens 27-34 #2H Three Forks well at an early 24-hour peak rate of approximately 2,906 barrels of oil equivalent (2,597 barrels of oil and 1.85 MMcf of natural gas). The Irgens 27-34 #2H was completed with 32 frac stages and is located in Brigham's Rough Rider project area in Williams County, North Dakota. The Irgens 27-34 #2H is approximately nine miles to the north northwest of the State 36-1 #2H Three Forks well, which was Brigham's first Three Forks well in Rough Rider and produced at an early 24-hour peak flow back rate of approximately 2,356 barrels of oil equivalent after being completed with 31 frac stages. Of Brigham's six Williston Basin Three Forks wells completed to date, the Irgens 27-34 #2H represents the highest early 24-hour peak rate and further delineates economic Three Forks drilling in Rough Rider.

Brigham has two incremental Rough Rider Three Forks wells scheduled to be completed in the near term, both of which are located in McKenzie County, North Dakota. With continued drilling success in the Three Forks in Rough Rider, Brigham estimates that it has the opportunity to add in excess of 500 net drilling locations to its de-risked drilling inventory, which represents an incremental seven years of inventory based on its 2011 drilling pace. When combined with its already significant de-risked drilling inventory, Brigham estimates that it could have 18 years of de-risked drilling locations at its 2011 drilling pace.

Management Comments

Bud Brigham, the Chairman, President and CEO, commented, "The results of our Irgens 27-34 #2H Rough Rider Three Forks well are outstanding. Results in the Williston Basin continue to confirm the incredible optionality provided by this high quality, oil rich basin and the de-risking that can occur over time as incremental resource play horizons are drilled and completed. The opportunity to add an incremental 500 net Three Forks drilling locations to our de-risked inventory in the near term provides our stockholders with a significant net asset value accretion opportunity. Furthermore, other Three Forks intervals are increasingly of interest. We recently completed coring a 300 foot interval including the Upper (our current horizontal target), Middle and Lower Three Forks Dolomite Benches in a McKenzie County well. This core data will help us further assess the resource potential of the Middle and Lower Three Forks Benches for future drilling."

Bud Brigham continued, "Our outstanding well results continue with our 88 long lateral high frac stage North Dakota completions averaging 2,797 barrels of oil equivalent during the early 24-hour peak flow back period. Benefiting from our two dedicated frac crews and the higher pace and efficiencies provided by our zipper fracs, since our last operational update we brought on line nine incremental gross wells to production at an average early 24-hour peak rate of approximately 2,745 barrels of oil equivalent. Furthermore, we have six additional wells that have completed fracture stimulation operations and should commence production in the near term, five wells fraccing and 13 wells waiting on completion. Based on current production data, we anticipate that our continued high rate completions will enable us to achieve third quarter 2011 production volumes at or possibly above the high end of our previously provided production guidance. We estimate that in July, prior to these recent completions, we produced over 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the Williston Basin, which would represent an approximate 17% sequential monthly increase in our Williston Basin production volumes."

Bud Brigham continued, "We also continue to make progress with our efficiency initiatives and technological innovation in the Williston Basin. For example we are currently rigging up to conduct our first four well zipper frac in Mountrail County. In the first quarter 2012, we expect to add two walking rigs to generate additional efficiencies via batch drilling. In total, we expect to generate 10 to 20% in capital costs savings with our efficiency efforts. We also recently successfully completed the second phase of testing of enhanced sliding sleeves, which attempt to replicate the performance of perf and plug while more fully utilizing pressure pumping equipment to enable us to complete more wells per month with our two fully dedicated frac crews. In two different wellbores, we completed approximately 50% of each wellbore with enhanced sliding sleeves provided by two different service companies and completed the remaining 50% of each wellbore with perf and plug. We will continue to evaluate the performance of the completions over time relative to wells completed entirely with perf and plug. In early October, we will complete our first Bakken well utilizing Schlumberger's HiWAY flow-channel fracturing technique. Overall, as evidenced by our performance, I believe our operations group continues to lead the way in attempting to generate higher recoveries and, at the same time, reduce capital costs."

Bud Brigham concluded, "Finally, we also continue to progress incremental de-risking in the Williston Basin. In Montana, we expect to announce several new completions in the near term and to spud four incremental wells by year-end. Lastly, also in October we will begin a series of infill tests to determine optimal spacing that should help us assess the opportunity to drill perhaps up to five wells per producing horizon per spacing unit."

About Brigham Exploration

Brigham Exploration Company is an independent exploration, development and production company that utilizes advanced exploration, drilling and completion technologies to systematically explore for, develop and produce domestic onshore oil and natural gas reserves. For more information about Brigham Exploration, please visit our website at or contact Investor Relations at 512-427-3444.

Forward-Looking Statement Disclosure

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements include early initial production rates which decline steeply over the early life of wells, particularly our Williston Basin horizontal wells for which we estimate the average monthly production rates may decline by approximately 70% in the first twelve months of production, our growth strategies, our ability to successfully and economically explore for and develop oil and gas resources, anticipated trends in our business‚ our liquidity and ability to finance our exploration and development activities‚ market conditions in the oil and gas industry‚ our ability to make and integrate acquisitions, the impact of governmental regulation and other risks more fully described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by use of terms such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate" and similar words, although some forward-looking statements may be expressed differently. All forward-looking statements contained in this release, including any forecasts and estimates, are based on management's outlook only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of subsequent developments or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Rob Roosa
    Director of Finance & Investor Relations
    (512) 427-3300