Award: Outstanding Explorer Award
Awardee: Orion L. Skinner
Citation: Published in the November 2012 Outcrop.
This field is outside of major middle Bakken activity. Orion and the team at Whiting Petroleum Corporation integrated detailed stratigraphy from cores and log evaluation that defined a zone of burrowed detrital dolomite that lies unconformably above the Three Forks and below the lower Bakken shale. In 2008, Orion mapped a resistivity anomaly within this zone with the postulated sweet spot covering a 12-township area. The timing was such that Whiting was able to build a 123,000 acre position. This zone, which had not been widely recognized by other geologists, became the reservoir in the highly productive Pronghorn Field. The discovery well was drilled in early 2010, and currently more than 95 horizontal wells have been completed. Initial production rates have been as high as 3600 BOEPD in 9000 foot horizontals. Final drilling density is not yet determined, but field wide ultimate recoverable reserves are likely to be on the scale of those at Elm Coulee or Sanish fields.
Orion Skinner is being recognized as RMAG’s 2012 Outstanding Explorer for showing once again that detailed mapping, correlation, and core studies can be applied to find significant reserves in a mature area.