A major part of the efficiencies well drilling in Bakken is putting multiple wells on one site. This saves a huge amount of time to set up and take down the rigs. Instead of disassembling/ transporting/ re-assembling, the still-assembled rig side-steps a few feet and the crew resumes drilling.
Infrastructure (roads, storage, pipelines) is easier, since it can go to one location instead of 6 or 10. Permitting is faster also.
Great article at The Dickinson Press goes into more detail – Consolidated for a smaller ‘footprint’.
You ought to check out the article for a fantastic photo of 6 pumps on one pad. Courtesy of Vern Whitten Photography, of course.
The article says the proportion of total wells drilled on pads is increasing, 60% in ’13 compared to 33% in ’11:
So far this year, 60 percent of the wells permitted were for shared pads, up from about a third from 2011, according to Department of Mineral Resources data.
Check out the number of pads per well:
The pads are growing, too. In the recent past, the average multi-well pad had seven wells on it. Now the average has about 10, DMR spokeswoman Alison Ritter said.
Pad drilling is old news, but if you are just catching up on the incredible energy boom in the US, this is a great article to read.
(Photo by James Ulvog.)