Development History

Granite’s predecessor company, DeeThree Exploration Ltd., drilled the critical discoveries establishing that the Upper Bakken siltstone could be developed using horizontal wells and multi-stage fracturing. Through its early land capture and willingness to take risks of exploratory drilling, followed by innovative use of well drilling and completions technology and further aggressive land capture, DeeThree transformed Ferguson into a growth engine. Granite inherited a low-risk development property centred on a solidly established EOR scheme with many years of further activity, plus a large exploration area in Ferguson’s western lands.


The time-line on this page charts DeeThree’s progress. Please click on the years to see that year’s key events.


October – 279 net sections of freehold land acquired at Ferguson for $19 million, with the goal of developing Bow Island shallow gas.

Throughout Year – Horizontal drilling by multiple operators across the broad Alberta Bakken fairway gathers momentum.

January – DeeThree drills vertical exploration well testing Middle Bakken potential at Ferguson, an undeveloped area with no previous oil production. Coring reveals exploration opportunity in the Upper Bakken. DeeThree drills short horizontal leg with several fracturing stages. Well achieves 30-day IP of 180 bbls per day, with no water and little natural gas. This is the first oil ever taken out of the Upper Bakken.

August – Horizontal well duplicates positive results of first well.


January – Vertical stratigraphic test well drilled on the eastern land base discovers major thickening in the Upper Bakken siltstone.

February – Fifth horizontal well at Ferguson, over 20 miles from original well, comes on-stream at 700 bbls per day. Wireline logs suggest a large, newly discovered pool.

May – A further 35 sections of Crown land acquired at 100 percent WI, subject to 5 percent royalty on new horizontal production.

August – Third-party resource estimate by Sproule Associates Ltd. at July 31, 2012 suggests Upper Bakken at Ferguson contains contingent and prospective oil resources of 222.1 million bbls of discovered oil initially in place and 257.2 million bbls of undiscovered oil initially in place.

2012 – DeeThree drills a total of 17 horizontal wells at Ferguson, all successful and on production by early 2013. Ferguson production grows to 3,000 bbls per day exiting 2012.

Dec. 2012 - Jan. 2013 – DeeThree acquires an additional 20 net sections of land, increasing the Upper Bakken play to 75 net sections at 100 percent WI, giving DeeThree the industry’s second largest land base in the Alberta Bakken.

Throughout Year – Continued steady drilling with a 17-well program grows production and expands the known pool area by 40 percent to an area of 14X4 miles, defining the eastern pool boundary.

June – The year’s best well comes on-stream at 1,190 bbls per day of oil and produces 112,000 bbls over its first six months, at which point it is still flowing at 560 bbls per day.

July – DeeThree drills an over 4,000-metre-long horizontal leg at Ferguson, one of the longest laterals ever drilled in Alberta, in its drive to increase capital efficiencies and maximize resource capture. It comes on-stream at 477 bbls per day.

Summer/Fall 2013 – To handle faster-than-expected production growth, handling capacity increased to 8,000 Bbl per day.

August – To reduce overall production declines and maximize oil recovery over the long term, DeeThree initiates a pressure maintenance program centred on reinjection of produced solution gas, using a converted horizontal producing well. Initial results are very good, arresting production declines in the surrounding group of producing wells. The program is expanded in 2014.

Year-End – By this time, DeeThree has drilled a cumulative 38 horizontal wells at Ferguson. Western pool boundary remains undefined.

First Quarter – Company drills three 100 percent WI horizontal infill wells, with average final test rate of 595 bbls per day of oil and 235 mcf per day of natural gas.

First Quarter – DeeThree acquires a further 70 sections of land prospective for the Upper Bakken in the Ferguson area. This increases its potential Upper Bakken holdings to 200 net sections and triggers a new round of exploration drilling, including vertical wells to test the far western lands.

Winter-Spring – In response to strong initial performance of the gas reinjection pilot, DeeThree expands the program with a dedicated reinjection gas compressor and a third horizontal injection well.

Summer – Horizontal discovery well extends the Upper Bakken pool by 7 miles to the southwest, creating a new 30-section exploration area and making the overall Upper Bakken fairway 30 miles long.

First Quarter – Shortly before Granite’s founding, DeeThree drills its first horizontal producing well designed specifically to optimize EOR performance. At the end of a five-day production test, the well flowed at approximately 1,000 bbls per day of 30° API oil and 0.5 mmcf per day of natural gas at a flowing wellhead pressure of 300 psi. DeeThree also expands injection with the conversion of two further wells to injectors, bringing the injector count to five wells, and henceforth injecting almost 100 percent of the CO2-rich Bakken solution gas.

May – Granite is formed out of the division of DeeThree into two independent oil and natural gas producers, Granite and Boulder Energy Ltd.

Second Half – Granite’s first capital program is budgeted at $20 million and will include drilling of nine horizontal wells, including two delineation wells on the western lands, plus further EOR enhancement. Guidance is for second half average production of 4,000 boe per day and a 2015 exit rate of 4,100 boe per day.