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Whiting Petroleum Corporation is an independent exploration and production company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Since the company’s founding, it has engaged in the acquisition, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, mainly focused in the Rocky Mountains and the Permian Basin. Currently, Whiting has an oil-focused asset base and is a leading crude oil producer in North Dakota. Whiting also operates significant assets in the Rocky Mountain region. Founded by Kenneth R. Whiting and Bert Ladd in 1980, Whiting Petroleum Corporation became a public company when it merged with Keba Oil & Gas in 1983. Although Alliant Energy acquired Whiting Petroleum in 1992 for $27.5 million, it became a public company once again in 2003 when Alliant spun off the company, ultimately divesting its remaining shares in 2008.
Currently, Whiting Petroleum has 443,125 acres in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana. This gives the company control of one of the largest acreage positions in the basin, with about 5,500 potential gross drilling locations. In the first quarter of 2014, Whiting had record-breaking Bakken production, with 73,325 boe/d. A large part of this was due to the tremendous well results the company saw in its Cassandra field in Williams County. Later that year, Whiting acquired Kodiak Oil & Gas Corporation, making it the largest Bakken/Three Forks producer and strengthening its presence in the region.
In 2015, Whiting started to experiment with enhanced well completion in its older offset wells in the Williston Basin. This allowed the company to access more of the reservoir up front. Although the per-well cost with this completion method is slightly higher than traditional methods, it has resulted in 40-50 percent higher rates of production, making it worth the additional upfront cost.
In 2016, Whiting entered into a new 30-well participation agreement in the Pronghorn area of the Williston Basin, with plans to add a rig and start drilling this program by the end of that year. In addition, the company planned to complete 16 gross (12.5 net) drilled, uncompleted wells by the beginning of the following year, setting the company up for a capital efficient production profile in 2017.
In addition to the Williston Basin, Whiting is one of the leading Niobrara shale producers in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin of Colorado. The company has 129,035 net acres in the eastern DJ Basin, primarily targeting the Redtail field in the Niobrara shale. In Redtail, Whiting has established four production zones, Niobrara A, B and C and Codell. Within these zones, the company has approximately 6,205 potential gross drilling locations. As of the second quarter of 2016, Whiting had boosted its production in the DJ Basin up to more than 10,000 boe/d.
Whiting is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its employees and the community in which it operates. The company understands that by making the effort to incorporate health and safety practices on a daily basis, no matter how small they may seem, it will make the company more successful in the long run.
In addition to educating its employees on health, safety and environmental policies and making them aware of the risks, Whiting has enacted a “Stop Work Authority Policy,” which gives all personnel on a site the right, responsibility, obligation and authority to stop any work or actions that go against these policies or put the health and safety of the workers, community or environment in danger. Through the continuous monitoring and evaluating of its practices, Whiting was able to reduce its employee total recordable incident rate by 62 percent over the previous year in 2014. In addition, the company encourages its employees to reduce discharges and waste, minimize land disturbance and efficiently use natural resources by rewarding them or holding them accountable for their actions.
Whereas most companies in the industry rely on third party geologists to analyze samples, Whiting hires its own geologists and provides them with the company’s own state-of-the-art labs. This gives the company an edge, as it allows it to move from the exploration stage to the development stage more quickly. Whiting’s geologists can analyze samples taken from exploration wells in the company’s geological lab to determine whether or not the reservoir has the potential to produce hydrocarbons. Additionally, the geologists can tell if there is anything present in the sample (like clay) that would prevent the hydrocarbons from leaving the soil. This allows the company to adequately plan its next steps and ensures a smooth transition from one stage to the next.
1700 Broadway, Suite 2300
Denver, Colorado 80290-2300