IHS: More to U.S. oil than Bakken

Aug. 2, 2012 at 8:29 AM

NORWALK, Conn., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Oil wells in a southern U.S. play might be cheaper to drill than the abundant Bakken play in the north but not enough to change the game, an analyst said.

The U.S. Energy Department said an oil boom under way in the Bakken play in the north of the country was contributing to an increase in the use of domestic crude oil.

A report from analytical company IHS, which has headquarters in Connecticut, said there may be benefits from the Mississippian oil play present in the areas surrounding northern Oklahoma.

Paul O'Donnell, an energy analyst at IHS, said the southern play is shallower than Bakken and cheaper to drill.

"The Mississippian's highly variable drilling results to-date, combined with increasing entry costs, might deter new entrants , but recent drilling reports suggest results could improve as knowledge of the play and technical adjustments increase," he said in a statement.

Drilling costs in the Mississippian play average around $3.2 million per well compared with the $9.5 million per well for the Bakken play.

O'Donnell said, however, that the southern formation is likely a "good ancillary asset" as opposed to a "company-changer."

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