Generalized Extreme Value Statistics, Physical Scaling and Forecasts of Oil Production in the Bakken Shale

Wardana Saputra, Wissem Kirati, Tadeusz Patzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We aim to replace the current industry-standard empirical forecasts of oil production from hydrofractured horizontal wells in shales with a statistically and physically robust, accurate and precise method of matching historic well performance and predicting well production for up to two more decades. Our Bakken oil forecasting method extends the previous work on predicting fieldwide gas production in the Barnett shale and merges it with our new scaling of oil production in the Bakken. We first divide the existing 14,678 horizontal oil wells in the Bakken into 12 static samples in which reservoir quality and completion technologies are similar. For each sample, we use a purely data-driven non-parametric approach to arrive at an appropriate generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution of oil production from that sample’s dynamic well cohorts with at least 1 , 2 , 3 , ⋯ years on production. From these well cohorts, we stitch together the P50, P10, and P 90 statistical well prototypes for each sample. These statistical well prototypes are conditioned by well attrition, hydrofracture deterioration, pressure interference, well interference, progress in technology, and so forth. So far, there has been no physical scaling. Now we fit the parameters of our physical scaling model to the statistical well prototypes, and obtain a smooth extrapolation of oil production that is mechanistic, and not just a decline curve. At late times, we add radial inflow from the outside. By calculating the number of potential wells per square mile of each Bakken region (core and noncore), and scheduling future drilling programs, we stack up the extended well prototypes to obtain the plausible forecasts of oil production in the Bakken. We predict that Bakken will ultimately produce 5 billion barrels of oil from the existing wells, with the possible addition of 2 and 6 billion barrels from core and noncore areas, respectively.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3641
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 24 2019


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