November 2016, Vol. 243, No. 11

Features

Thriving in a Major U.S. Shale Play: The Bakken Unpacked

As an oil and natural gas industry veteran who has been around the block a few times, Rick Moncrief, CEO of Tulsa, OK-based WPX Energy, likes to compare and contrast North Dakota’s Bakken Shale play with the venerable Permian Basin of West Texas and eastern New Mexico since his company has acquired and drilled its way to substantial stakes in both plays. “Today, when I step back to see what the Bakken has turned into, I think it is absolutely incredible,” Moncrief said, with a mixture of passion and nostalgia. It said a lot about both areas that Moncrief, who as a young engineer in the 1980s drilled the first horizontal well in the Bakken (1987) in a $9/bbl domestic oil price environment,

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