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It is widely recognized that shale resource plays such as the Bakken Petroleum System, in the Williston Basin, North America, are significantly more spatially complex over nearly every geological parameter than previously understood. For example, closely spaced Bakken wells can have much different production rates over their lifetime, despite very similar completion strategies. In ultra-low porosity and permeability regimes typical of shale resources plays, the variations in rock characteristics from well to well may be below the resolvable scales of seismic reflection and well data. These undetectable variations can lead to variations in organic content or elasticity that in turn affect production. I attempt to address differences in first year cumulated production from wells in the Red Sky survey area of the Ross Field, North Dakota, using results from core studies on bulk mineralogy, clay content, thermal maturity, and in situ stress. These data allow me to make assessments of brittleness and ultimate fracability of wells having differing production histories of closely spaced wells within Ross Field.

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