Some media reports incorrectly report there is no oil in the region, based on the assumption that since the wells are listed as “dry holes,” there is no oil. They were not put into production for several reasons. At the time many of the wells were drilled, the technologies of hydro-fracking and horizontal drilling were not available, so a layer of “tight” oil would not have been considered productive. Other factors were the changing conditions of the oil market and the fact that many of the wells, drilled as tests, were never intended to be put into production.
The target of the Norstra well is the Bakken Formation. Other wells that have been drilled in the area that have encountered the Bakken, or Sappington, are: The A.B. Cobb, which found the Bakken at 9,224 feet, 10,199 feet and 11,880 feet (the multiple strikes are indicative of an overthrust); the Federal 3-10, which found the Bakken at 366 feet and at 12,408 feet; the J.B. Long, which drilled through the Bakken at 10,894 feet; the Simpson KTO 2-1, which bored through the Bakken at 4,196 feet; the State 8-15 found the Bakken at 7,665 feet. The Steinbach well recorded the Bakken at 10,124 feet and the Krone 31-32 shows the Bakken at 6,910 feet. Of all the wells drilled in the region, the Krone 31-32 attracts the most attention of geologists that have studied the region. Records from the Krone indicate readings that surpass what is typical of the Williston Basin wells currently being drilled.