The Williston Basin API Chapter held a special event on November 8, 2023, to honor and award Monte Besler “FRACN8R” of Fracn8r Consulting with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes leaders who have made significant contributions to the development of oil and natural gas in North Dakota. The criterion for the award includes at least 25 years of work in the oil and gas industry with the majority of that time being spent in the Williston Basin. In addition, the recipient must have contributed significantly to the functions and activities representing oil and gas in North Dakota and be committed to the industry and organization’s well-being.
*Pictured left to right: Kathy Neset, President, Neset Consulting Service – Jared Iverson, Managing Director Ops Services, Chord Energy – Monte Besler, President, FRACN8R Consulting LLC – Lynn Helms, Ph.D., Director ND Department of Mineral Resources– John Harju with the University of North Dakota & Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) VP of Strategic Partnerships
Monte’s education began at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology from September 1975 to June 1979, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geological/Geophysical Engineering. He relentlessly continues his education, having taken in many classes over the years at various Petroleum institutes and conferences.
He started his Oil & Gas Career as a District Engineer for The Western Company of North America in June 1979, where he managed a regional laboratory performing cement tests, acid break tests, fracturing fluid tests, etc., for several districts in the northern Rockies. He was also responsible for technical sales and engineering support for the cementing, acidizing, and fracturing services provided by the local district. During his tenure at the Dickinson, ND facility, he developed a hydrocarbon-based breakdown fluid that was very effective at breaking emulsions created by invert mud drilling fluids and for Bakken formation breakdowns. He then moved on to District Engineer for Halliburton in March 1984, where he developed an in-situ injection tubing passivation process for air injection wells that helped reduce corrosion and extend the life of tubing in high-pressure air injection in-situ combustion EOR floods in the southwestern Williston Basin. From there, he became a Production Engineer for Hess Corporation in 1998. He provided completion support on all horizontal completions and developed an acidizing program for the Madison horizontal program after determining extreme formation damage during drilling was limiting production. The acidizing program helped the Beaver Lodge Madison Unit, which was near abandonment, instead require a new oil, gas, and water handling system to accommodate production. Within two years, it exceeded the peak production rate of the fieldset 25 years earlier. He also worked with ESP vendors to help design and install high-volume submersible pump lift systems for the high GLR of these wells. His next position was a Technical Consultant for Hohn Engineering, PLLC in 2002 where he helped provide cradle to grave engineered solutions for all types of wells. Much of his work was located within the Williston Basin, but he occasionally worked on wells in the Powder River and Bighorn Basins of Wyoming and the central uplift in Montana. During this time, he also gave technical presentations at the Montana Tech student SPE Chapter Symposium in Butte, MT, and many other SPE and API functions.
Lastly, breaking out on his own, he became the Principal Owner of FRACN8R Consulting, LLC in 2010, where he currently resides in Williston. He primarily provides completion consulting and supervision services for oil and gas operators, although he has extensive experience in other areas of upstream oil and gas operations. He has worked extensively within the Williston Basin, with experience in over 20 distinct producing intervals, as well as other formations of interest or concern. He is a strong advocate for the application of sound engineering practices in the recent Bakken and Three Forks development. With his work history starting in 1981, he has a unique knowledge of the fracturing behaviors, producing characteristics, etc., of the Bakken formation. He also works in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, Williston Basin portions of South Dakota and Montana, the Denver-Julesburg Basin of southeastern Wyoming, the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, and parts of the Uinta Basin of Eastern Utah and western Colorado. He has become a well-known proponent of proper fracture conductivity design in low-permeability unconventional oil and gas development using horizontal wells. He also has extensive knowledge of the shallow biogenic gas-producing intervals of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana (again dating back to 1981) and the completion practices and fracturing methods required for the economic production of this vast resource. Let’s just say he is well versed in the chemistry of acidizing, fracturing, and production chemicals and the proper optimized application to maximize their benefit. Most recently, he has been involved in the completion of Helium producers using hydraulic fracturing to increase production.
Monte has been recognized for numerous contributions to the oil & gas industry over the years. In 1993, he was recognized by Halliburton Energy Services Research as the first operations engineer from a field facility to be elected as a Contributing Member to the Halliburton Research Technical Ladder. In January 2012, the Williston Basin Section - Society of Petroleum Engineers presented Monte with the Recognition of Lifetime Service Award for his 31 years of service to the Society of Petroleum Engineers and specifically for the Williston Basin Section. In November 2013, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award for an Individual from the Williston Basin Chapter API. Nominated and elected for this award by the general membership of the Williston Basin Chapter of the API. The award is for outstanding achievement within the scope of the upstream oil and gas industry in the Williston Basin. In November 2019, he received the MVP Award from the Williston Basin Chapter API, recognizing his many years of volunteer service.
Monte has demonstrated compassion and persistence in everything he has done for the past 44 years. These honorable and genuine acts could not be dismissed.
The Williston Basin Chapter of the American Petroleum Institute Board of Directors and Advisory Board are proudly honored to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Monte Besler – The FracN8R!