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Record Breaking Production Drop In North Dakota

Oil Rig

The Bakken and North Dakota production data is out. Big surprise. The Bakken was down 69,420 barrels per day in April while all North Dakota was down 70,414 bpd.


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This is the largest drop ever in North Dakota production. The Bakken is now under one million barrels per day.

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This gives you some idea of the erratic nature of North Dakota production. But as you can see, the decline is accelerating.

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The EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report gives past Bakken production numbers, which includes the Montana portion, and future estimates for the next couple of months. The average difference between North Dakota production and total Bakken production has been about 27,500 bpd. However for April the difference is almost 63,000 barrels. So it looks like for once the DPR estimate is way too conservative. The DPR estimate is through July while the North Dakota data is only through April.

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In April Bakken barrels per day per well fell by 7 to 94, North Dakota bpd per well fell by 5 to 82.

From the Director’s Cut

Producing Wells

March 13,052

April 13,050 (preliminary)(all-time high was Oct 2015 13,190)

Permitting

March 56 drilling and 4 seismic

April 66 drilling and 0 seismic

May 42 drilling and 0 seismic (all time high was 370 in 10/2012)

ND Sweet Crude Price

March $26.62/barrel

April $30.75/barrel

May $33.74/barrel

Today $38.25/barrel (all-time high was $136.29 7/3/2008)

Rig Count

March 32

April 29

May 27

Today’s rig count is 28 (lowest since July 2005 when it was 27)(all-time high was 218 on 5/29/2012)

Comments:

The drilling rig count fell 3 from March to April, 2 from April to May, and increased 1 from May to today. Operators remain committed to running the minimum number of rigs while oil prices remain below $60/barrel WTI. The number of well completions fell from 66 (final) in March to 41 (preliminary) in April. Oil price weakness is the primary reason for the slow-down and is now anticipated to last into at least the third quarter of this year and perhaps into the second quarter of 2017. There was 1 significant precipitation event, 15 days with wind speeds in excess of 35 mph (too high for completion work), and no days with temperatures below -10F. Related: Oil Continues To Tumble On Brexit Fears

Over 98 percent of drilling now targets the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

The stimated number of wells waiting on completion services is 892, down 28 from the end of March to the end of April. Estimated inactive well count is 1,590, up 67 from the end of March to the end of April.

Crude oil take away capacity remains dependent on rail deliveries to coastal refineries to remain adequate.

Low oil price associated with lifting of sanctions on Iran and a weaker economy in China are expected to lead to continued low drilling rig count. Utilization rate for rigs capable of 20,000+ feet is 25-30 percent and for shallow well rigs (7,000 feet or less) 15-20 percent.

Drilling permit activity increased from March to April then fell back in May as operators continue to position themselves for low 2016 price scenarios. Operators have a significant permit inventory should a return to the drilling price point occur in the next 12 months.

Dennis Coyne posted the above chart. He adds:

New wells added in the Bakken/Three Forks are assumed to drop to 25 new wells in April and remain at that level until Jan 2017. Last month about 64 new wells were added.

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Just one more chart, U.S. weekly C+C production. It looks like U.S. production has been pretty much in free fall since the middle of January.

By Ron Patterson via Peakoilbarrel.com

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