Breitling Oil and Gas

Breitling Oil and Gas CEO Chris Faulkner compares the company’s business model and approach to risk-taking to the game of baseball – it would rather consistently hit doubles than strike out in pursuit of a few home runs.

The Irving, Texas-headquartered independent oil and natural gas exploration company looks to acquire previously discovered properties it believes it can reinvigorate. Breitling Oil drills roughly 40 projects a year, producing roughly 4,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

“We’re not a wildcatting company; we’re not going to go out and discover the next Bakken Shale,” Faulkner says. “We exploit mature fields that may be producing very rudimentary amounts of oil and gas or ‘graveyards’ that aren’t producing anything. We look at fields that were initially worked in the 1950s and 1960s through conventional methods, because we feel the surface was barely scratched on those.”

The privately held company, founded in 2004, is active in several states including the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. “Our model has allowed us a very high success rate,” Faulkner says. “We use our own technology to go into these areas, and while we are spending millions of dollars to explore and drill, we know the oil is there and we are not taking huge risks.”

Although Breitling mainly works in lower-risk conventional plays, it also sees the value in up-and-coming plays such as the Bakken Shale or the Permian Basin, where it is acquiring acreage. While the Bakken Shale in particular requires a greater amount of capital investment on the company’s part than its other projects, its marketability makes it worthwhile.

“We will take risks where we need to and go into emerging plays and find acreage, but we want to make sure that acreage is right,” Faulkner says. “To us, it’s about drilling wells and selling product, not about booking reserves just to run stock prices up.”

The company is also active in mid-continent oil exploration including in Kansas, where it works the Mississippi Lime shale formation. Breitling used horizontal drilling and other unconventional methods to uncover a large stock of oil decades after vertical drilling and rudimentary completion techniques were performed there. Faulkner refers to the company’s work there as one of its “home runs,” as it established itself there long before several larger companies arrived in the region.

Faulkner and other company personnel keep a close eye on commodity prices, which also influences their decisions about when and where to invest in plays. “We pick and choose the best plays that return investment in the shortest period of time for our shareholders,” he adds.

Effective Techniques
Breitling Oil takes advantage of a number of technologies Faulkner says give it the ability to target oil producing areas that have been previously overlooked. Chief among these technologies are 3-D and 4-D seismic imaging and its own proprietary Geo3D seismic filtering software. Geo3D processes existing seismic data in high resolution, which often leads to the discovery of oil and gas reservoirs that were previously missed in seismic interpretations.

The company uses CO2 sand fracturing techniques to increase the flow rate of oil and gas from underground formations. Drilling is accomplished through the use of coiled tubing technologies in place of traditional rigid and jointed drill pipe. Coiled tubing reduces overall drilling costs and the time needed to make drill pipe connections, and has less of an environmental impact, according to the company.

The environmental impact of Breitling’s operations also plays into the company’s recent efforts to research and develop a “green” fracking fluid. The company is working on marketing a fluid free of hazardous chemicals that could be consumed or ingested without causing harm, Faulkner says.

Faulkner sees the company continuing to apply its technologies and experience throughout the Gulf area while increasing its presence in mid-continent oil plays as well as natural gas fields. “We think natural gas will be a great asset for the next five years,” he adds. EMI