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Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson is a retired computer engineer. He worked in Saudi Arabia for five years, two years at the Ghazlan Power Plant near Ras Tanura…

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The Bakken Gets A Second Wind

Bakken Formation

North Dakota has published January production data for the Bakken and for all North Dakota.

(Click to enlarge)

Bakken production was up 37,617 bpd to 932,817 bpd while all North Dakota’s production was up 37,972 to 980,294 bpd.

(Click to enlarge)

Bakken bpd per well was up 3 to 86 while the average bpd per well for all North Dakota wells was up 4 to 76.

(Click to enlarge)

The North Dakota stats have “Wells Producing” dropping by 189 in December and dropping another 35 in January for a total decline of 224 over the two months. The total number of producing wells in North Dakota in January stood at 12,976.

You will notice these numbers differ quite a bit from Lynn Helms’ numbers below. I have no explanation for this.

From the Director’s Cut:

Oil Production

December 29,211,993 barrels = 942,322 barrels/day

January 30,389,117 barrels = 980,294 barrels/day(preliminary)

(all-time high was Dec 2014 at 1,227,483 barrels/day)

Producing Wells

December 13,337

January 13,333 (preliminary)

(all-time high was Nov 2016 at 13,520)

Permitting

December 35 drilling and 0 seismic

January 81 drilling and 1 seismic

February 45 drilling and 1 seismic

(all time high was 370 in 10/2012)

ND Sweet Crude Price

December $39.93/barrel

January $40.51/barrel

February $42.74/barrel

Today $41.50/barrel

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

Rig Count

December 40

January 38

February 39

Today’s rig count is 44

(all-time high was 218 on 5/29/2012)

Comments:

The drilling rig count decreased two from December to January, then increased one from January to February, and is currently up 5 from February to today. Operators are shifting from running the minimum number of rigs to incremental increases throughout 2017, as long as oil prices remain between $50/barrel and $60/barrel WTI.

The number of well completions decreased significantly from 84(final) in December to 54 (preliminary) in January.

Oil price weakness is anticipated to last into the second quarter of 2017.

There were two significant precipitation events, five days with wind speeds in excess of 35 mph (too high for completion work), and eleven days with temperatures below -10F. The first half of January was as bad as December 2016, but the last ten days of the month the weather was dry, warm, and a little windy.

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

Estimated wells waiting on completion is 802, down 5 from the end of December to the end of January. Estimated inactive well count is 1,678, up 105 from the end of December to the end of January.

Okay, but what is the rest of the U.S. doing as far as oil production goes? The data below is from the Petroleum Supply Monthly and goes through December 2016, not January as the above North Dakota data does. (The data is in thousand barrels per day.) Related: U.S. Shale Kills Off The Oil Price Rally

(Click to enlarge)

US C+C production was down 91,000 bpd in December. Most of this drop was from North Dakota which they have down 89,000 bpd in December.

(Click to enlarge)

The EIA has Texas down 17,000 bpd in December. Notice that they have Texas virtually flat for the second half of 2016.

(Click to enlarge)

Alaska has stopped their decline, temporarily anyway. Alaska was up 6,000 bpd in December.

(Click to enlarge)

The EIA says the Gulf of Mexico was up 47,000 bpd in December. Related: Is The Oil Price Plunge A Turning Point? 


(Click to enlarge)

So, I just subtracted Alaska and the GOM from total U.S. production to see what the Lower 48 were doing in December. They were down 144,000 barrels per day. 89,000 of that was from North Dakota. Therefore, the Lower 48, less North Dakota, was down 55,000 bpd.

By Ron Patterson

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Leave a comment
  • PDR on March 13 2017 said:
    All we hear is how shale production has upticked to cause our production rebound. The data in the article shows a different story. The GOM has provided the rebound to date. Likely from projects started way before the price crash. No doubt shale will be coming on but based on the lower 48 graph it has a long way to go just to get back to previous rates. That is if Saudi doesn't crank back up and sidetrack it again. A lot of the Permian larger prodcuers had locked in oil above 85$ and that carried their drilling and land spending through the crash. That crutch won't be there this time.

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