Chesapeake Energy Corp. prides itself on having a leading acreage position in most of the United States’ most productive oil and natural gas plays. But the Oklahoma City-based company is apparently throwing in the towel in the oil-rich Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana.
Upstream, an international oil and gas newspaper, reports Chesapeake is selling its entire 427,000-acre position in the Bakken, acknowledging it used flawed geological concepts when it amassed its position there in 2010 and 2011.
Chesapeake, which does not list its Bakken holdings on its website, did not respond to a request for comment from The Oklahoman on Friday.
Chesapeake’s acreage is concentrated in two counties along what is believed to be the southern edge of the Bakken and Three Forks plays, according to Upstream, but the company’s drilling in that area was not fruitful.
Chesapeake’s inability to find oil there has been called the biggest drilling failure in North Dakota since the 1980s. Tanks are there, collecting nothing. Well heads are in place, abandoned... Director of Mineral Resources for North Dakota, Lynn Helms said: 'There's only one well that's made any measurable oil, and it's about 10 percent oil at best, 90% water.' Chesapeake invested $60 million in the prospect of hitting oil. That excludes money spent on leases. 'Because all the drilling had been taking place north of there and the geological risk was zero, it made it look too easy. So in terms of the technology of drilling and fracking, well prepared, but in terms of geology probably not,' said Helms.