DENVER, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- EARTHSTONE ENERGY, INC. (NASDAQ: ESTE) announced today that drilling has reached total depth on two new horizontal Bakken wells and drilling on two additional wells is underway in the Banks Field, McKenzie County, North Dakota. Equally important, Brigham Exploration Company (BEXP) (Brigham) has begun its long awaited drilling campaign following its purchase of Panther Energy's ( Tulsa) interest in the Banks Field last fall. The two wells already drilled are the Gunderson 15-22 1H and the Enderud 9-4 2H. The Gunderson well is currently being completed while the Enderud 9-4 2H is waiting on a completion rig. Earthstone has a 3.9% and 5.1% interest in the two wells, respectively. Brigham is the operator of both wells. Drilling has commenced on the Banks State 16-21 1H and the Wold 15-33H, also in the Banks Field. Earthstone has a 3.4% and 2.3% working interest in these wells, respectively. The Banks State well is operated by Brigham, while the Wold well is operated by Zenergy, Inc. (Zenergy), a privately owned company, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All four wells are expected to be on production by fall. In related news, Earthstone provided additional information on North Dakota operations: Banks Field, McKenzie County In the Banks area, the Company previously reported its participation with Zenergy in the Berquist 33-28H and the A. Johnson 12-1H. Earthstone has a 0.18% and a 0.08% working interest in these wells, respectively. The Berquist 33-28H is now producing, however is on confidential status. The well is currently flowing back hydraulic stimulation fluid, though is expected to establish an initial potential of over 900 barrels of oil per day. The A. Johnson 12-1H has been hydraulically stimulated and is currently producing, though primarily flowing back stimulation fluids. As a result, an estimate of this well's initial production rate can not be determined at this time.
Shares of Earthstone Energy (AMEX:ESTE) have taken a tremendous swing upward. The stock is trading at $21.08 as of 2:43 p.m. ET, 20.5% above Friday's closing price of $17.50. Volume is at 187,582, 56.8 times the daily average of 3,300.