unrelated third parties and on its own behalf.
Today, U.S. Energy is active in many of the most sought after areas for developmental oil and gas drilling in the United States. Current areas of operation include multiple shale plays such as the Bakken, Barnett & Marcellus, and resource plays including the Wofberry, Barnett Combo, Mississippian and Hunton Limestones. It is our belief that these areas will continue to produce economically strong levels of oil & gas production in addition to a diversified commodity portfolio which includes oil, natural gas and wet gas assets.
To find potential investment opportunities, the company maintains relationships with Joint Venture industry partners with significant experience in areas where the drilling will occur. These partners provide access to, on average, more than 500 potential investment opportunities each year, each containing its own set of potential risks and rewards. U.S. Energy will analyze each project using a screening process which incorporates a series of internal check list criteria that are designed to narrow down the drilling and acquisition opportunities to those that best fit with our investment strategy. As a result, only the optimum opportunities are presented to our Investment and Acquisition Committee for final approval and investment.
Oklahoma has been actively developed for oil & gas since the 1920’s. U.S. Energy is involved in both the Mississippian and Hunton formations. The Mississippian formation in Northern Oklahoma is highly regarded for its horizontal development, estimated to produce 5.4-5.9 billion barrels of oil within its lifespan. In the northwest of Oklahoma, the Hunton Limestone contains primarily oil producing reservoirs and has also experienced increased productivity as a result of the development of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
U.S. Energy in two major areas in Texas; the Permian Basin and the Fort Worth Basin. The Permian Basin is located in Western Texas adjoining New Mexico and encompasses an area 250 miles wide and 300 miles long. The Permian has produced roughly 11.3 billion barrels of oil to date.
A second major project area is the Barnett Shale Combo play located in the Fort Worth Basin. The first shale play in the Unites States to use horizontal drilling and fracturing, the Barnett Shale is a combo play, meaning it has reserves that are primarily wet gas as well as oil. As the most developed shale play, the Barnett has experienced significant investment growth within the past few years.
Located between Montana and North Dakota, the Bakken shale is one of the premier oilfields in the United States. The recent success of the Bakken can be attributed to thorough analysis of geological data coupled with the implementation of new technologies including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In May 2012, North Dakota surpassed Alaska as the number two oil-producing state in the USA behind only oil-rich Texas. Estimates on the total amount of oil contained in the Bakken vary widely, ranging between 271 billion to 503 billion barrels.
Natural Gas Focus
The Marcellus Shale is poised to be one of the largest natural gas fields in the USA and has become practically the only viable field for natural gas drilling in the United States with the decreases in natural gas price experienced in 2008. In a typical year, U.S. Energy has invested 5-10% of assets in this region. In the Marcellus, U.S. Energy is involved in some of the most active trends within the formation. The average vertical well depth is typically 7,500′ with 4,000′ with a 7,000′ horizontal leg.