Veteran Takes Honor Flight

Largent visits the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial while in DC.
By Ken Gjerde
Special to the Fairfield Sun Times, http://www.fairfieldsuntimes.com

To Remember . . .

Simms resident Howard Largent 86, recently enjoyed the third Big Sky Honor Flight for Veterans, a tour of Washington, D.C. with focus on the War Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery.   The flights honor our war dead who made the supreme sacrifice, and pay tribute to surviving Montana veterans.  Those senior in age and veterans with terminal illness receive priority for selection to the flights.   Sponsored by Big Sky Honor Flight Committee, which funds the flights, eighty-one male and five women WWII veterans departed Billings Logan International Airport Sunday, April 21st, 2013.  This honor culminated what began in 1944 when eighteen year old Howard was drafted.  His induction, oath and assignment to a branch of service was in Salt Lake City on 10 January, 1945.   Alone from Ulm, he made friends with a Great Falls kid who wanted to be a marine so Howard signed up with him.   He got in but his new found friend didn’t, “so there I was all by myself again.”   He says he made it through boot camp at the Marine Recruit Depot in San Diego, “On the skin of my teeth.  It was six weeks of hell.  They treated everyone like dogs, called you names, and beat you on the head.   The kill or be killed idea kind of screwed with my mind.”   Elwood Richards of Simms had boot camp at the same time.  Howard was home ten days at Easter and then idle at Camp Pendleton for two weeks before sailing for Pearl Harbor, then to Okinawa via Guam where they expected more training, but received none.  “All we knew how to do was close order drill and marching.”   So in June, 1945, minimally prepared for war, he found himself in the Sixth Marine Division on Okinawa, in the last Pacific Island battle and final battle of WWII.   The trip to Washington aroused things he’d forgotten and he was glad he could focus on the good.

His daughter Marlene, a registered nurse, joined him on the flight to share the experience and assist him with walker and wheelchair.  Others assisting were seven emergency medical response staff and other helpers, and members of the all volunteer Big Sky Honor Flight Committee.   After their 5:45 a.m. arrival at the airport and 7:30 a.m. departure he found himself thinking about sleep as well as his gratitude.  He knew no one but found people with whom he had mutual friends.  There were a few “Seabees” (combat engineers) and six ex-marines on the flight, the rest being army, navy and air corps veterans.   Arriving at Dulles International Airport at 1:15 p.m., their plane was showered from both sides by fire truck water cannons as it approached the gate.   Greeting them were a band playing patriotic numbers, veteran supporters with welcome and thank you signs, various political dignitaries and a group of Vietnam Veterans with shiny Harley Davidson motorcycles ready for their afternoon escort.   The Montana veterans became a center of attention for a group of New Hampshire middle school students who questioned them about the war and what it was like.

The Honor Veterans were assigned to three tour buses, and a van for those needing special assistance, and departed at 3:00 p.m. for three memorials.  The Korean War Memorial was striking with its nineteen ten foot high stainless steel statues of armed infantrymen posed maneuvering in a field of grass.  One veteran saw it as so real he felt he was moving right among them, knowing what they were doing and feeling.  The massiveness of the Lincoln Memorial surprised some as did the length, height and stark vividness of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Montana’s Lt. Governor, John Walsh, a veteran of 2004-2005 Iraq, is the  Honorary State Chairman for the Honor Flights and was the lead person on Howard’s bus and counted heads for each boarding.   Howard liked getting to know him, found him to be down to earth enjoyable company, had the privilege of him pushing his wheel chair at the WWII memorial and sat beside him at the banquet later in the evening.  Following an hour’s stop to settle into their hotel rooms, the hotel’s Potomac Ball Room was the site for their reception and banquet featuring delicious Prime Rib and a program of greetings.

Breakfast Monday morning was early and delicious with time for meeting members of the flight for conversation, reminiscing and recounting experiences.   They boarded buses at 8:15 a.m. to tour the city and arrive at the World War II Memorial at 9:30 a.m.   A police escort kept the group moving on schedule.  The cherry blossoms weren’t their usual dominating attraction, due to frost, as they viewed the U.S. Capitol areas and the 9/11/01 terrorist attack damaged Pentagon.   A group picture was taken at the WWII Memorial with a large rectangular concrete pillar and arch in the background.  Smaller pillars, named for each state, form a circle boundary to the Memorial.

The WWII Memorial offered time for individual pictures and time to reflect on the veteran’s own experiences.   For Howard this was being one of 11,000 marine replacements.  The First and Sixth Marine Divisions had cleared the northern portion of Okinawa and the Sixth was joining the battle for the southern portion when he was assigned to its Fourth Marine Regiment, Second Battalion, George Company.   “I came in the last part of it.   I was an assistant BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) man and a stretcher bearer.  We had to go up in the lines and get the wounded.  A lot of kids with me as replacements were killed.”  The night before Howard landed on Okinawa the marines were fed all they could eat of steak, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings, evoking the usual jokes about it being their “last meal” before the “execution”.   The core of his Fourth Marine Regiment was the men of the renowned Carlson’s Marine Raider Battalion.    He remembers times when his squad leader was a PFC instead of the normal Sgt. or Cpl., so rapidly were marines being killed and wounded.   He says it was a place where you “grew up fast.”   Moving up, a man was shot right in front of him, but with the shot fired from behind he guessed he had been the target.  Elements of the Sixth Division participated with others in some of the fighting for Sugar Loaf, a key hill closely supported by two other hills giving   each hill triangulated fire support.   It took ten days to win the hills and clear the caves with 7,547 killed and wounded.   He and Gene Converse, who was in the Navy aboard ship in support of the Okinawa battle, were friends.  Gene lived in Fairfield from late childhood until his death in 2001 and they had talked about seeing an ammunition ship blown up by a kamikaze plane in the harbor off Naha.  Readers may remember that Ross Peace was also aboard ship at Okinawa at the same time.   Howard was on Okinawa until 8 July, 1945.

After Okinawa the Fourth Marines were based on Guam preparing for the invasion of Japan which included digging a long latrine trench between Quonset huts being readied for barracks.   At a movie it was announced that the U.S. had dropped the atomic bomb on Japan and “we didn’t even know what it was.”  After the Japanese surrender the Fourth Marines went to Japan with Task Force 31 occupation group at Yokosuka Naval Base. They docked beside the USS Missouri.  A big sign, “U.S. Navy welcomes U.S. Marines to Japan” greeted them.  Howard said he was the nineteenth Marine to set foot on the Japanese homeland.   One job he had was supervising a group of Japanese in a boiler room (See photo).   His eleven months in Japan included much Military Police duty with time in Sasebo and Yokohama.   He toured Nagasaki and found the devastation hard to believe.   At Yokohama he saw Japanese in American clothing and learned they had been born in the U.S. and had asked to be returned to Japan.    He remembers racism where a USO show with a minority performer, was boycotted.   He endured seven troop ship ocean voyages and was seasick on every one except the last one home to San Diego where he was discharged on 26 August, 1946.

General Simon B. Buckner, overall commander of the four Army and three  Marine divisions in the Okinawa Battle, was killed by artillery fire while observing the fighting on 18 June, 1945.    By 21 June, the official end of the battle, 8,277 Sixth Marine Division marines were killed or wounded, with total U.S. military casualties of 49,151 killed and wounded in the 82 day battle for Okinawa.   These numbers accent the enduring meaning of Arlington National Cemetery to our nation.   The ceremonial changing of the guard at Arlington impressed all with its uniformity of participants in size, slow pace, dress uniforms, crispness and precision of movements.   The presentation of arms also reminded Howard of “M-1 Thumb”, a condition where the bearer of the standard issue WWII M-1 Rifle gets his thumb caught in the breech as the bolt action snaps closed.   From the cemetery at Arlington he could see General Robert E. Lee’s memorial residence as the cemetery lies within the boundary of General Lee’s original plantation.

After a very good lunch on the bus they set foot at the Iwo Jima Memorial.  This very large bronze monument depicting the marines raising the American Flag on Mount Surubaci moved them, but no monument can tell the story of the dying suffered by the 25,851 killed and wounded marines in the battle for Iwo.   However, the symbolism in the flag raising scene evokes a tribute to all who have fought in all our nation’s wars, fighting for the freedom our flag represents.

The Memorial to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, built featuring large white blocks of granite from South Dakota, displays famous quotes of FDR.  It includes scenes of the depression era with life-size statues of farmers, bread lines and other scenes.

Air traffic at Dulles International is stopped when Air Force One or foreign leaders are landing or taking off.  The same discipline, privilege and tribute was accorded the Honor Flight.  No other planes moved on their landing, taxiing and takeoff.   Senators Max Baucus and John Tester and Representative Steve Daines each made at least one appearance to the tour and addressed the Honored Veterans.  Representatives of their Washington and Billings staffs saw the veterans off and welcomed them at the Dulles and Logan airports.   Thank you and welcome back signs adorned Logan International upon their return.

This past April eleventh, Howard and his wife Jean celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.   They live in Simms and have three daughters, Marlene Largent and Sharon Wheeler of Simms and Carol Graves of Missoula; and one son Jim Largent of Simms.  Howard grew up in the Cascade and Ulm areas and spent many years in county road maintenance.   He was not allowed to keep a diary or have a camera on Okinawa and he regrets forgetting so much.   Jean, nee Speer, was raised in Conrad.  She managed the Sun River Truck Stop for thirteen years and cooked many years at the Cozy Corner in Fairfield and the Lazy B in Augusta.  Howard was one of many veterans featured in the Simms High School English and U.S. History Classes Heritage Project a few years ago.  We extend our appreciation for information for his story, to Howard and his family and to the Simms Public School and the Heritage Project for their gracious willingness to grant access to their interview with Howard.

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Stene Hultgren Is Ready To “Rig Up”

Stene Hultgren. Sun Times photo
By Darryl L. Flowers

Stene Hultgren would like a summer job. On an oil rig.

The 19 year old, a Freshman at Montana Tech in Butte where he is studying Petroleum Engineering, says he would like to take on any job in the oil field to get started, “I would like to get the experience of working on a rig.”

Stene is the grandson of “Swede” and Faye Olsen of Fairfield. He grew up in Molt, Montana where he was homeschooled by his Mom, Tara.

According to Hultgren, there are three types of Petroleum Engineers: Reservoir, Drilling and Production. “I want to pursue Drilling and Production… the Reservoir engineers have to spend too much time in an office looking at charts and data.”

Growing up on the family farm in Molt, Stene says he is accustomed to the hard work he expects on a rig, “I enjoy working from sun-up to sundown, as long as I’m outdoors.” He adds that being in Butte is hard for him, saying that he is not able to get out of town much, “But I love going to ‘Tech’.”

Hultgren made his decision to work in the oil patch at an early age. When he was 13, he was working with a neighboring farmer when he was asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. The farmer was good friends with Billings oil man Tom Hohn and helped arrange a chat with Hohn. When his Dad, Randy Hultgren found out Stene had an interest in oil and gas, he told his son he knew another oilman, Tom Hauptman, a geologist and surveyor, who also encouraged Stene.

Montana Tech is recognized as being one of the leading Petroleum Engineering and Geology schools in the nation. At a recent career fair on campus, 43 oil and mining firms showed up looking for resumes. Stene was not able to take part, the event is for juniors at the school.

Hultgren is fascinated with the fast pace of the industry, “Developments seem to happen overnight… new technologies… new oil fields are constantly being discovered to make oil exploration and production more efficient.

Stene says when he graduates he hopes to stay in the Montana, or maybe North Dakota Oil Patch. Asked if he would like to work on a rig in the ocean, he doesn’t seem enthused about the possibility, or even the question. After pondering for a few seconds, he admits that working on a rig in Norway, where his ancestors come from would interest him, maybe working for a company like Norwegian oil giant Statoil.

But the thought of working on a rig down south, in the Gulf of Mexico, causes Stene to shake his head, “Man, down there south of Texas… it’s too hot to work on a rig out in the ocean.”

Spoken like a true Montana oilman.

Slawson Completes Well Into Upper Bakken Member: Weekly Oil Report

A Bakken well being drilled in Richland County. Sun Times photo by Darryl L. Flowers

Compiled by Darryl L. Flowers

New Locations

In Fallon County’s Cabin Creek Field,  Denbury Onshore, LLC was approved to drill the Unit 11X-03, located at NW NW 3-9N-58E (307 FNL/743 FWL). The well will reach the Red River Formation with a Proposed Depth of 9,400 feet.

In Glacier County’s Cut Bank Field,  Montalban Oil & Gas Operations, Inc. was greenlighted to drill the Kruger 12, located at NW SW 13-37N-5W (1650 FSL/990 FWL), reaching the Madison Formation with a Proposed Depth of 2,900 feet.

In Musselshell County, Antelope Resources, Inc. was approved to drill the Lida Kluzek 2, located at NW NW 20-11N-28E (616 FNL/659 FWL) and targeting the Amsden Formation at 3,300 feet.

New Locations – Horizontal Wells

There were eight new horizontal wells approved during the reporting period. All eight wells will target the Bakken Formation in Richland County and fly the Continental Resources Inc. banner.

The Mufflin 1-30H has a Surface Hole Location (SHL) at NW NE 30-23N-54E (260 FNL/1780 FEL) and a Probable Bottom Hole Location (PBHL) of 14,369 feet at SW SE 30-23N-54E (200 FSL/1980 FEL); the McHenry 1-35H has an SHL at NE NW 35-24N-52E (295 FNL/1553 FWL) and a PBHL of 14,030 feet at SW SW 35-24N-52E (200 FSL/660 FWL); the McHenry 2-35H has an SHL at NE NW 35-24N-52E (295 FNL/1598 FWL) and a PBHL of 13,818 feet at SE SW 35-24N-52E (200 FSL/1980 FWL); the McHenry 3-35H has an SHL at NW NE 35-24N-52E (270 FNL/1343 FEL) and a PBHL of 13,953 feet at SW SE 35-24N-52E (200 FSL/1980 FEL); the McHenry 4-35H has an SHL at NE NE 35-24N-52E (270 FNL/1298 FEL) and a PBHL of 13,957 feet at SE SE 35-24N-52E (200 FSL/660 FEL); the Charlotte Federal 3-11H has an SHL at NW NE 11-25N-52E (260 FNL/2390 FEL) and a PBHL of 19,007 feet at SW SE 14-25N-52E (200 FSL/2200 FEL); the Parsons Federal 1-6H has an SHL at NE NW 6-26N-53E (359 FNL/2098 FWL) and a PBHL of 18,461 feet at SE SW 7-26N-53E (200 FSL/1980 FWL) and the Mulholland Federal 1-32H, with an SHL at SE SW 32-27N-56E (260 FSL/1345 FWL) and a PBHL of 19,973 feet at NE NW 29-27N-56E (200 FNL/1980 FWL).

Re-Issued Locations

In Carbon County, J.J. Bunkirt Oil & Gas Corp. has been approved for two wells.

The Federal 22-26, located in the South Clark’s Fork Field at SE NW 26-9S-22E (1955 FNL/2086 FWL) will target the Greybull Formation at a Proposed Depth of 8,300 feet.

The Summit 21-26, located at NW NE 26-9S-22E (1109 FNL/2473 FEL), has a Proposed Depth of 5,800 feet, aiming for the Colorado Shale.

Completions

In Powder River County’s Bell Creek Field, Denbury Onshore, LLC filed a completion report for the Bell Creek Consolidated 33-09R. The well has an SHL at NE SE 33-8S-54E (1900 FSL/661 FEL) and a Bottom Hole Location (BHL) of 4,635 feet at NE SE 33-8S-54E (1841 FSL/940 FEL), reaching the Skull Creek Formation.

The remainder of the completions were in Richland County.

Slawson Exploration Company Inc. filed a completion report for the Boomerang 3-4H. Geologists had been watching this well closely, calling it a “significant completion.” The Boomerang is situated far south of the Elm Coulee Field, with an SHL at NE NW 4-20N-60E (240 FNL/2225 FWL) and a BHL of 15,226 feet at SE SW 4-20N-60E (255 FSL/2596 FEL). At this location, the middle layer of the Bakken System disappears as it is “pinched out.” The Boomerang was drilled into the upper layer of the Bakken. The well reported an Initial Potential of 414 Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD), 124 Thousand Cubic Feet of gas Per Day (MCFPD) and 903 Barrels of Water Per Day.

Slawson filed completion reports on three other Bakken wells.

The Archer (Federal) 1-26H has an SHL at NW NW 26-24N-52E (300 FNL/660 FWL) and three laterals: 13,720 feet at SW SW 26-24N-52E (259 FSL/741 FWL); 13,187 feet at NE NE 26-24N-52E (746 FNL/535 FEL) and 13,882 feet at SE NE 26-24N-52E (2450 FNL/313 FEL), the reported IP was 490 BOPD, 539 MCFPD and 275 BWPD. The Android 1-6H has an SHL at SE SE 6-23N-53E (540 FSL/850 FEL) and a BHL of 13,049 feet at NE NE 6-23N-53E (767 FNL/771 FEL) and turned in an IP of 180 BOPD, 210 MCFPD and 136 BWPD. The Rustler 1-4H has an SHL at NE NE 4-23N-52E (200 FNL/700 FEL) and a BHL of 13,948 feet at SE SE 4-23N-52E (250 FSL/780 FEL) and reported an IP of 247 BOPD, 272 MCFPD and 455 BWPD.

Continental Resources Inc. reported the completion of the Candee 3-18H. The Bakken well has an SHL at NE NE 18-24N-53E (145 FNL/380 FEL) and a BHL of 19,274 feet at SE SE 19-24N-53E (208 FSL/784 FEL) and reported an IP of 109 BOPD and 64 MCFPD.

Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation reported the completion of the Simmers 4 21-30-1H, with an SHL at

NE NW 30-25N-57E (375 FNL/1600 FWL) and a BHL of 20,461 feet at SW SW 31-25N-57E (243 FSL/721 FWL). The Simmers reported an IP of 470 BOPD, 256 MCFPD and 1,080 BWPD.

Oasis Petroleum North America LLC filed a completion report for the Sherri 2658 43-9H, with an SHL at SW SE 9-26N-58E (225 FSL/2000 FEL) and a BHL of 20,460 feet at SW SE 21-26N-58E (303 FSL/1456 FEL). The well turned in an IP of 860 BOPD, 644 MCFPD and 186 BWPD.

Expired Permits

All three expired permits for the reporting period were located in Roosevelt County: EOG Resources, Incorporated’s NBB 3-3031H, located at NE NW 30-30N-59E (250 FNL/2425 FWL) and two G3 Operating, LLC wells: the McCabe 1-2-11H, located at NE NW 2-29N-56E (250 FNL/2020 FWL) and the KDW 1-26-35H, located at NE NW 26-30N-56E (250 FNL/1980 FWL).

Abandoned Wells

In Big Horn County’s CX Field, the permits for six wells operated by Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. expired: the Consol Federal 2399 43D, located at NE SE 23-9S-39E (1800 FSL/990 FEL); the Consol Federal 2699 44D, located at SE SE 26-9S-39E (833 FSL/644 FEL); the Consol Federal 2699 44C, located at SE SE 26-9S-39E (795 FSL/733 FEL); the Consol Federal 2399 43C, located at NE SE 23-9S-39E (1785 FSL/1072 FEL); the Consol Federal 2399 43M, located at NE SE 23-9S-39E (1807 FSL/1032 FEL) and the Consol Federal 2699 44M, located at SE SE 26-9S-39E (815 FSL/685 FEL).

In Glacier County’s Cut Bank Field, the permits for two wells operated by Quicksilver Resources, Inc. expired: the Jacobsen-Lee 3, located at C NE SW 23-37N-5W (1980 FSL/1980 FWL) and the Jacobsen Lee 1, located at C NW NW 23-37N-5W (660 FNL/660 FWL).

Also in Glacier County, the permit for the Gage 3606-19-01, operated by Rosetta Resources Operating LP expired. The Gage was located at NE NE 19-36N-6W (390 FNL/660 FEL).

In Toole County, the permit for Keesun Corporation’s Leuck 6-13, located at SE NW 13-34N-3W (2420 FNL/1650 FWL), expired.

Darryl L. Flowers is the Publisher of the Sun Times in Fairfield, Montana, www.fairfieldsuntimes.com. Darryl can be reached at publisher@fairfieldsuntimes.com.

Norstra Closing in on First Drill Location

A comparison of the Krone Well, located near the proposed Norstra drill site south of Augusta, and a well located in Elm Coulee in eastern Montana.
Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 2:02 PM CDT

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Norstra Energy today announced that the company is finalizing the evaluation of technical data this week for the first drill location on its South Sun River Prospect. “We received the first seismic interpretation from our geophysical team in Denver and are reviewing the proposed first drill location internally. Once we have evaluated and cross-referenced the proposed location with the actual surface conditions for the drilling operations we will send our surveying team out to stake the location and design the drilling pad,” stated Glen Landry, the CEO & President of Norstra. He further said: “We are also very excited about the quality of the seismic lines.”

Central to the viability of Norstra’s South Sun River Prospect are the subsurface well logs in the area. Norstra is fortunate to have acreage that is near wells that show the likelihood of commercial oil in the Bakken Oil Formation.

There are three key wells in the immediate vicinity of the first potential Norstra drill site.

• Krone #3132 drilled by Shell Oil Company. This well demonstrates those essential parameters for a commercial well in the Bakken Oil Formation. There are 24 feet of Bakken middle member present. The middle member of the Bakken Oil Formation produces most of the oil today. The reservoir rock displays a resistivity of 200 ohms suggesting oil and gas is present. The well is less than 2.5 miles away from the first proposed Norstra drill site.

• Steinbach #1 drilled by Arco. The Steinbach # 1 well is around 3,000 feet deeper than the Krone well.  The same reservoir is present, but with deeper buried shales that are heated at a higher temperature resulting in higher resistivities from the generations of oil and gas.  The resistivity here is over 2,000 ohms.  The well is less than 5 miles south of the first proposed drill site.

• Soap Creek Cattle Co. #1331 drilled by Flying J Oil and Gas.  The well is not studied much because it did not penetrate the Bakken Oil Formation. It still has some very significant information for our project. The well stopped in the middle member of the Blackleaf Oil Formation at a depth of 5,480 feet. The Bakken is perhaps 3,000 feet deeper. What is of interest is that in one of the many faults present, there is oil described by the geologist, M.K. Jones. The oil is described from 4,928 to 4,994 feet.  It is in a fractured member of the Taft Hill and the oil has been biodegraded to a heavy crude due to the presence of the water in the fractures. This oil has migrated up the thrust from deeper formations. The source for the oil could be the Bakken Oil Formation. This well is less than 0.75 miles from the proposed first drillsite away. Just the fact that oil is present so close to the Company’s proposed well site is extremely significant.

We anticipate that the Bakken Oil Formation on the Norstra drill site may be very similar to the Krone well or Steinbach well. A comparison has been made by the Company’s technical consultants between the Krone well and the Balcron 44-24 Vaira well located in the Elm Coulee field of Eastern Montana. Elm Coulee (2007) was the highest producing onshore oil field in the United States, and it is Bakken Oil. This field is expected to exceed 270 million barrels of production from the Bakken Oil Formation at depths of 8,500-10,000 feet. This is exactly the depth range around the proposed Norstra drill location and in the Krone and Steinbach.

The comparisons do not stop there. (See photo accompanying story)

The Vaira 44-24 well has produced over 159,000 barrels of oil and was completed in 1989 when new fracking and drilling technologies were in their infancy. A series of upgrades have been applied to this well but in today’s world one would expect this well to exceed these figures. The Company plans to employ all of the latest completion technologies to drill the Norstra #1 well. Production is anyone’s estimate but just based upon the increased thickness of the Bakken Oil Formation at the proposed Norstra location, the recoverable reserves may compare favorably to those found in nearby wells.

Geological Society Has Presentation On Southern Alberta Bakken

Geophysicist Eric Johnson Sun Times photo by Darryl L. Flowers
By Darryl L. Flowers

Last Wednesday Billings Geophysicist Eric Johnson spoke to a full house at the Petroleum Club in Billings regarding oil exploration along the Eastern Slope of the Rockies.

The occasion was a regular monthly presentation of the Montana Geological Society.

According to the MGS’ Jay Gunderson, the monthly gatherings typically bring in 25-35 people. 48 showed up for Johnson’s lecture.

Johnson told the crowd that the oil in the Cut Bank oil field in Glacier County has been determined to have originated in the Bakken System. The Cut Bank oil was found at a much shallower depth than the Bakken since the formation has fractured in a zone along the Rockies known as the overthrust belt.

“There’s no reason not to expect Bakken oil in NW Montana,” said Johnson. “Landslide Butte has more shale than Elm Coulee.” Landslide Butte is located in Glacier County, to the northeast of Browning. Elm Coulee is the legendary Bakken oil field in eastern Montana, the area of some of the most prolific wells in the state.

Addressing the issue of why exploration firms drilling in NW Montana have had difficulty finding the sweet spot while Canadian firms such as Shell Canada, DeeThree and Crescent Point enjoy success on the north side of the border, Johnson commented, “There is something going on as you cross the [Canadian] border, and I don’t think it’s the geology that has changed.”