UPDATE 1-Brigham Exploration shares rise on success of wells

martes 15 de julio de 2008 21:42 CEST

(Adds analyst comments, background; updates share movement)

By Ajay Kamalakaran

BANGALORE - July 15 (Reuters) - Shares of oil and gas producer Brigham Exploration Co BEXP.O rose as much as 10 percent on Tuesday after it said two of its wells in North Dakota were successfully producing oil.

Both wells are in the Bakken Formation, which covers parts of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan, and could have the potential to yield huge reserves.

Record high crude and gas prices and advances in drilling have triggered a frenzy of exploration activity among energy companies in "unconventional" fields like the Bakken, where oil and natural gas are locked in substances like shale that were once considered too costly for drilling.

The Austin, Texas-based company said its Mrachek 15-22 1H well was at an early flowing production rate of about 727 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOED).

The well's results show potential for its particular area, west of the Nesson Anticline in the Bakken Shale, even though initial drilling was questionable and it was considered a risky prospect, RBC Capital Markets analyst Scott Hanold said from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"Given the fact that they have 100,000 acres, people are getting excited about that," Hanold said of development in that region.

He said those wells weren't as good as others tested in Mountrail, where the second successful well was drilled, and not as highly fractured as the Mountrail area.   Continuación...